Firewind Premieres Video For Its Latest Single, ‘Destiny Is Calling’

Courtesy: AFM Records

Firewind premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘Destiny is Calling‘ Friday. The video features the band live on stage, performing as the song plays over the visualization. The song is the band’s first new music since the release of its 2020 self-titled album, which was released through AFM Records.

Guitarist Gus G. said the footage used in the video was recorded Feb. 11 in Munich, Bavaria, Germany in front of 2,000 fans.

Firewind is currently in the midst of a European tour in support of its latest album. The band’s next planned performance is scheduled to take place Tuesday in Frankfurt, Germany. The tour is scheduled to run through May 3 with a series of festival shows to follow in June, July and August.

The tour’s full schedule is noted below:

Make sure to catch FIREWIND live at the following dates:
28.02.2023 DE Frankfurt Batschkapp
01.03.2023 DE Hannover Capitol
02.03.2023 DK Copenhagen Amager Bio
03.03.2023 DE Hamburg Gruenspan
04.03.2023 SE Malmö KB
05.03.2023 SE Stockholm Fryshuset Klubben
06.03.2023 NO Oslo Vulkan Arena
07.03.2023 SE Gothenburg Trädgårn
09.03.2023 DE Berlin Huxleys
10.03.2023 DE Leipzig Felsenkeller
11.03.2023 CZ Zlin Masters of Rock Café
12.03.2023 HU Budapest Barba Negra
14.03.2023 PL Krakow Studio
15.03.2023 PL Warsaw Progresja
16.03.2023 SK Bratislava Majestic Music Club
18.03.2023 RO Napoca Form Space
19.03.2023 RO Bucarest Quantic Club
20.03.2023 BG Sofia Hristo Botev Hall

09.06.2023 DE  Metal Frenzy Open Air
14.07.23 DE  Blizzard Rockfest
29.07.2023 CZ  Ostrava v Plamenech
04.08.2023 DE  Helmfest
05.08.2023 AT  Innrock Reloaded

More information on Firewind’s new single, video, and tour is available along with the album’s latest news at:




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Visions Of Atlantis Debuts New Album’s Second Single, Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Power metal band Visions of Atlantis debuted the latest single and video from its forthcoming album this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Melancholy Angel’ and its companion video Tuesday. The song and its video are the second from the band’s forthcoming album, Pirates, which is scheduled for release May 13 through Napalm Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Legion of the Seas’ and its video March 7.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Melancholy Angel’ is another familiar power metal opus from the band that the group’s fans will find appealing. In comparison to its predecessor, this single is more of a mid-tempo composition and leans more heavily on its string arrangements than that song. What’s more, the song’s mood is more contemplative in nature than ‘Legion of the Seas.’

No information about the song’s lyrical theme was provided in the press release announcing the debut of the new single and video. No lyrics are provided with the video, either.

The video finds the band, still in full pirate regalia, on a beach at night, campfire blaring. The group is performing its new single against the backdrop as the song plays over the visualization.

In other news, Visions of Atlantis is on tour with Dragonforce. The bands’ current tour schedule is noted below.

Apr. 13, 2022 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Apr. 15, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
Apr. 16, 2022 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Apr. 17, 2022 – Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
Apr. 19, 2022 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
Apr. 20, 2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Apr. 22, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 23, 2022 – Berkeley, CA – UC Theater

* = without Firewind

Pirates‘ track listing and available platforms are noted below.

Pirates tracklist:
1. Pirates will Return
2. Melancholy Angel
3. Master the Hurricane
4. Clocks
5. Freedom
6. Legion of the Seas
7. Wild Elysium
8. Darkness Inside
9. In my World
10. Mercy
11. Heal the Scars
12. I will be Gone

Pirates will be available in the following formats:

  • Wooden Deluxe Box (incl. digisleeve, flag, hip flask, signed autograph card) – strictly limited to 300
  • Canvas (100x50cm) + CD Digisleeve – strictly limited to 100
  • 2 LP Gatefold GLOW IN THE DARK – strictly limited to 300
  • 2 LP Gatefold Black
  • CD Digisleeve
  • Digital Album

More information on Visions Of Atlantis’ new album, single, video, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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Firewind To Join Dragonforce Tour Sunday

Courtesy: Earsplit PR

Firewind will join Dragonforce for its tour starting this weekend.

The veteran metal band is scheduled to join Dragonforce for its headlining tour starting Sunday in Denver, CO. The band’s run with Dragonforce is in support of its latest album, Firewind, which was released in 2020 through AFM Records.

FIrewind’s run with Dragonforce is scheduled to last through April 23 in Berkeley, CA and will see the band perform in cities, such as Greensboro, NC; Dallas, TX and Cleveland, OH. The schedule for the band’s tour with Dragonforce is noted below.

DragonForce North American tour dates
w/ Firewind, Visions of Atlantis, Seven Spires

Mar. 20, 2022 – Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
Mar. 22, 2022 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
Mar. 23, 2022 – St. Louis, MO – Red Flag
Mar. 24, 2022 – Milwaukee, WI – Rave II
Mar. 25, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Mar. 26, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Mar. 27, 2022 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Mar. 29, 2022 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s
Mar. 30, 2022 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
Mar. 31, 2022 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
Apr. 1, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
Apr. 2, 2022 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Apr. 3, 2022 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Apr. 5, 2022 – Reading, PA – Reverb
Apr. 6, 2022 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
Apr. 7, 2022 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Apr. 8, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Roxian Theater
Apr. 9, 2022 – Greensboro, NC – Arizona Petes
Apr. 10, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Heaven)
Apr. 12, 2022 – Tampa, FL – Orpheum
Apr. 13, 2022 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Apr. 15, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
Apr. 16, 2022 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Apr. 17, 2022 – Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
Apr. 19, 2022 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
Apr. 20, 2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Apr. 22, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 23, 2022 – Berkeley, CA – UC Theater

Also joining Dragonforce for its tour are Visions of Atlantis and Seven Spires.

More information on Firewind’s upcoming tour and album is available online along with the band’s latest news at:




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‘Quantum Leap’ Is A Largely Successful New Offering From Gus G.

Courtesy: AFM Records

Firewind founder and guitarist Gus G. is quoted from a recent interview as saying of his new album, Quantum Leap, that he “didn’t make it with the intention of it being the next one in the cycle of solo albums.  It was more of a case of, ‘What else is there?’ I needed the creative outlet.”  One of so many albums created during the downtime forced on acts by the COVID-19 pandemic, audiences will be glad that he crafted the album regardless.  That is due in large part to its general presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  While the album’s general presentation makes the record a strong new offering, the recording is not perfect.  The production in the live content detracts from the presentation to a point.  This will be discussed a little later.  Speaking of production, the production of the album’s first half offsets the impact of the production in the album’s second half and makes the album that much more enjoyable.  The end result of this is that the album in whole proves to be one more of the year’s top new rock and hard rock/metal albums.

Gus G.’s new solo album, Quantum Leap is a mostly successful new presentation from the veteran guitarist.  That is due in large part to its general presentation.  The general presentation finds the 18-song record divided into two separate discs.  The first disc is composed of 11 original new songs that the guitarist (formally known as Konstantinos Karamitroudis) crafted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The second disc is composed of seven live tracks, at least two of which are covers (one a Thin Lizzy cover, the other a Dire Straits work).  The live songs were all from a concert that Karamitroudis held in 2018 in Budapest.  Two of the songs – ‘Fearless’ and ‘Cold Sweat’ – were featured in his 2019 digital-only EP, Live in Budapest.  The other five songs are other performances featured in the concert, but just not in the EP.  Ironically, the other two songs from the EP are not featured among the live songs in this bonus live material.  Sure, it would have been nice for audiences to have had those songs, for a total count of nine live performances, but at least audiences get seven.  To that end, audiences cannot complain too much.

Getting back to the topic of the main record, the material that makes up its body is both new and archived material that Karamitroudis had stored away unfinished from however long ago.  Karamitroudis composed and recorded most of the instrumentation in this record, save for the drums.  He was joined by drummer Vincent Velasco for the recording.  Velasco’s work is solid throughout and offers just the right musical “spice,” too.  Just as interesting is that Karamitroudis was quoted during an interview promoting the album, that he had to step back from his typical approach (IE lots of extensive guitar solos and work, really in-depth arrangements).  Instead, he allowed himself to write and create more freely.  The result is wonderful.  There are songs that fit just as well here on any Firewind album (E.g. ‘Demon Stomp,’ and ‘Enigma of Life’) as would fit on one of Joe Satriani’s albums.  The more Satriani work comes in the form of the album’s opener, ‘Leap Into The Unknown’ and ‘Not Forgotten.’  There is even some hint of influence from fellow guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman peppered in through songs, such as ‘Force Majure’ and ‘Exosphere.’  As if all of that is not enough, the sort of “new agey” approach and sound of ‘Night Driver’ with its keyboards, is a throwback to that familiar hair metal sound of the 80s.  It will appeal to specific audiences in its own right.  Simply put, the works crafted for the album’s main body are diverse and unique from one another throughout its run.  The wide appeal that it will certainly generate couples with the appeal from the record’s companion live material to make for even more engagement and entertainment.  In other words, audiences get the best of both worlds here in the best way possible.  They get a new, impressive studio recording, and a healthy compliment of live material in lien of a live performance, since the COVID-19 pandemic put Karamitroudis’ live plans on hold.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album’s general presentation creates a strong, solid foundation for the record.  Of course while the album’s general presentation is undeniably important to its appeal, the album is not perfect.  There is a slight issue raised as a result of the live material’s production.

The production is slightly problematic because of the lack of balance in the instrumentation and vocals.  The vocals in the live show were performed by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic).  Maybe it is just this critic’s own hearing, but it seems throughout the songs with vocals, Ward’s performance is washed out by Gus G.’s work and that of drummer Johan Nunez (Firewind, ex-Kamelot).  Ward’s vocals sound so distant, as if his mic was not turned on.  Whether that was accidental is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, it forces audiences to turn up the volume and listen closely to be able to hear Ward.  This is disappointing, but is not enough of a dent to make the live material a failure.  That is because not every song has vocals.  To that end, the album’s live material still helps play into the album’s success, despite the one noted concern.

Considering that the production in the album’s live material is not enough to doom the record, there is at least one more item to note here to the record’s positive.  That item is the production of the album’s primary content.  As noted already, Karamitroudis admitted in an interview promoting his new album, that he had to take a new, unfamiliar approach to composing and performing in Quantum Leap.  That approach included not only taking different approaches in the songs, but also making sure that each part works well with each other.  That is because so much is still going on in each song.  Ward, who also mixed and mastered the album, deserves his own share of applause.  He clearly paid painstaking attention to each instrument’s place within each arrangement.  He made sure that every part complimented the others and balanced each song in whole.  That work and that of Karamistroudis came together and made the album in whole just as successful for its aesthetics as for its content.  When this and the album’s content are considered together, the whole makes Quantum Leap another impressive offering from Gus G. that is among the best of not only the year’s new rock albums, but hard rock and metal albums, too.

Gus G.’s recently released album, Quantum Leap is an impressive presentation that will appeal equally to his fans, those of Firewind, and rock and hard rock fans alike.  The record’s success is due in large part to its general presentation.  The general presentation gives audiences the best of both worlds with a new studio album and live recording in one.  The studio recording gives audiences a new studio presentation while the new live recording gives audiences a nice concert experience in lieu of a live, in-person show from Gus G. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The general presentation gives the record a strong start, but the production in the live recording detracts from the presentation to a point.  The production proves problematic because there is an obvious problem with the balance between the instrumentation and vocals in the tracks that feature vocals.  Thankfully it is not enough to make the record in whole a failure or even the record’s live half.  The production of the record’s primary body makes up for the concerns raised through the production of the live content.  It ensures every instrument balances expertly with one another.  The result is that the studio content is fully engaging and entertaining from start to end.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, the album proves a mostly successful presentation.

Quantum Leap is available now through AFM Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Gus G.’s latest news at:




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2020’s New Hard Rock, Metal Albums Prove The Grammys Got It Wrong Again

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Whatever committee or person makes the decision on who gets nominations and awards at the annual Grammy Awards ceremony needs a swift kick in the pants.  That is because that person or those people has/have never given much real respect to the hard rock and metal community.  This year’s list of nominees is the latest supporting proof for that argument.  Despite what certain parties might have audiences believe, 2020 produced a lot of albums that are far more worthy of awards.  Among those oh-so-notable new albums that have been released this far are new offerings from Lamb of God, Sons of Apollo, U.D.O., Sevendust, and even Firewind.  All of the noted albums are featured in this year’s Phil’s Picks Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums.  Between thrash metal, groove metal, pure hard rock and even electronic rock, this list proves how much great material was released this year that is far more deserving of awards than the acts that were nominated (maybe save for Body Count’s song).

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 new albums in the noted category and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums.


  1. Sons of Apollo – MMXX
  2. U.D.O. – We Are One
  3. Sevendust – Blood & Stone
  4. Lamb of God – Lamb of God
  5. Mushroomhead – A Wonderful Life
  6. Testament – Titans of Creation
  7. Static X – Project: Re-Generation
  8. Firewind – Firewind
  9. Julien K – Harmonic Disruptor
  10. Master Boot Record – Floppy Disc Overdrive
  11. Clint Lowery – God Bless The Renegades
  12. Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic
  13. David Reece – Cacophony of Souls
  14. Biff Byford – School of Hard Knocks
  15. Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow

Next up from Phil’s Picks is one last musical category, the year’s top new overall albums.  Stay tuned for that, and then it’ll be on to the DVD and BD categories. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to and ‘Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at  

Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.


1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday


No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now






Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:






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Lord’s New EP Is A Strong Second Helping Of Its 2019 Album ‘Fallen Idols’

Courtesy: Dewar PR

Independent hard rock band Lord is giving its fans a bonus from its recently released album Fallen Idols.  The band is scheduled to release its new EP Chaos Raining is scheduled for release Friday.  The three-song record is an intriguing record because while it is being marketed as an EP, it is technically another of those records that is in reality more single than EP.  That is not to say that the record is a failure for the band.  Rather, its track listing does serve as something of a negative for the record’s presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  While the track listing is undoubtedly an issue for Chaos Raining, it is the record’s only negative.  The EP’s musical content is very much a positive worth noting, so it will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the EP’s musical content is notable in its own right and is also deserving of attention.  It will also be addressed later.  All three noted items are important in their own way to the whole of this EP.  All things considered, they make Chaos Raining a presentation that hard rock and metal fans will find worth hearing at least occasionally.

Lord’s forthcoming EP Chaos Raining is, for the most part, an enjoyable new offering from the independent hard rock band.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are powerful, guitar-driven works that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Judas Priest, Dragonforce and Firewind.  That is evident through the combined guitar work of the band’s front man “Lord Tim” and fellow guitarist Mark Furtner as well as through “Lord Tim’s” operatic vocal delivery style.  Even the extended take of the EP’s title track deserves attention, with its keyboards and semi-industrial metal approach.  That element takes precedence in this song, but the original work’s guitar and drums are there.  The choral approach taken with the vocals gives the song a touch of an 80s hair metal sound.  This all seems like a lot, and it is, but somehow, the band manages to balance all of those elements for a whole that despite being nearly 10 minutes long, is still wholly entertaining in its own right.  Keeping that in mind along with the engagement and entertainment that ‘Chaos Raining’ and ‘A World Insane,’ the whole of the EP’s musical content offers audiences plenty of motivation to take in this record.  While the arrangements do echo the style of arrangement that the band has presented in its past works, the actual sound is different from those works.  In other words, the style is the same as in previous works, but the songs overall are not identical in their sound.  They are original in their own right, in layman’s terms.  Even set against one another, the arrangements here are original in their overall sound.  That makes the EP that much more worth hearing.

For all that the arrangements do to make Chaos Raining a positive new presentation from Lord, the songs overall are somewhat problematic.  As with so many other records that have been released this year, one can argue that considering the EP’s makeup, is being improperly marketed.  The EP is in fact more single than EP.  That is because the record’s title song is itself from another album.  The one extra original is likely a b-side that did not make the final cut for Fallen Idols.  The extended remix of ‘Chaos Raining’ is basically just a bonus track.  So while it is original in its own right, it is still just a remix of one of the record’s two original songs.  In other words, the EP is essentially a single from the band’s bigger 2019 album that also features two extra works.  One of those works is likely a castaway from the original sessions for that album while the other is just a re-worked version of the single.  Keeping that in mind, the record is still enjoyable to hear, but is still more single than EP.  Since it is being marketed as an EP, it still deserves its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs even despite everything noted.

While the makeup and marketing of Lord’s new EP is questionable, it does not make Chaos Raining a failure by any means.  It does impact the record’s place in any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs, but is still a work that will appeal to hard rock and metal fans.  That is due in large part to the record’s musical content, though the musical content is just one part of what makes the record worth hearing.  The lyrical content that accompanies the musical content adds to that engagement.  The EP’s second song, ‘A World Insane’ comes across as a social commentary of sorts.  “Lord Tim” sings in the song’s chorus, “A world gone insane…we cry out in vain/And now with open arms/We carry on and try to find our way.”  Now while much of the song’s lyrics are indecipherable sans lyrics, just enough is understandable to make an inference about the theme.  “Lord Tim” mentions in the song’s second verse about looking around and seeing no one around, adding mention about being on the precipice.  In other words, the seeming statement hints at things being in a very bad state right now.  When this is considered along with the note of carrying on with arms wide open, it leads to the assumption that the song focuses not just on how bad things are, but of people’s resilience and determination to get through all of the bad.  This in itself is certain to generate interest and discussion among audiences.  It is just one of the ways in which the record’s lyrical content proves so important to its presentation.  The EP’s title track will generate its own interest with its seemingly more personal story.

“Lord Tim” sings in the lead verse of ‘Chaos Raining,’ “You cast your gaze upon my form/Into cold eyes that once were warm/Hardened by sorrow, I still bleed/I will arise from bended knee.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “The days loom grey/Forever seem/My mind engaged in pain unseen/Suffer the past/Onward I roam/Through severed ties I walk alone.”  He adds in the song’s chorus, “Say goodbye/I’m lost forever/The storm, it rages on and on/I’m stronger/For every day that dies/I’ll wonder/The chaos raining down/I’m drowning under.”  As the song enters its third verse, “Lord Tim” sings, “The years estranged/Like endless waves/Our time is gone/Now swept away/Torn down/Rebuilt in iron gleam/This broken man becomes machine.”  At this point, the song returns to its chorus once more with its statement about being stronger despite everything.  It can be inferred between that statement and the commentary in the verses that this song focuses on someone who is pushing on even as the world seems to fall down around him; a person who has been mentally and personally “rebuilt.”  As always, this is just this critic’s interpretation. Hopefully it is close to being a correct interpretation if not completely correct.  That aside, it is content that is certain to generate its own share of discussion among audiences, especially when it is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement.  All things considered, the song’s thought provoking lyrical content is just one more way in which the EP’s lyrical themes prove to be just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  Those arrangements and the lyrical content together make Chaos Raining a record that while maybe not the purest example of an EP, still a record that heavy rock fans will appreciate.

Lord’s forthcoming EP Chaos Raining is a work that will appeal to a wide range of hard rock and metal fans.  That is due to its musical arrangements and its lyrical content, as noted here.  The musical arrangements are everything that audiences have come to expect from the band.  The riffs liken themselves to works from the like of Judas Priest, Firewind and Dragonforce at the same time.  The lyrical themes presented within the record’s two original songs will generate their own engagement among audiences as they are certainly thought provoking, as also noted here.  The one downside to the whole thing is that it is being marketed as an EP.  This is important to note because the “EP’s” title track is itself a single from the band’s 2019 album Fallen Idols.  Other than that one track, there is only one other original and then an extended take of the record’s title track.  Keeping all of this in mind, this record is really more a single with two extra tracks than an actual EP.  Even with that in mind, it is not enough to prevent a person from wanting to listen to this record.  It is just something to note, and taken into consideration with the record’s overall content, it proves itself to be a work that will appeal widely to hard rock and metal fans.  It will be available Friday.  According to a post on the band’s official Facebook page, the record’s physical copies are already sold out in pre-orders, so right now, only digital pre-orders for the record are available.  More information on Chaos Raining is available along with all of Lord’s latest news and more at:









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‘Firewind’ Shows The “Fire” Still Burns Bright Each Firewind’s Members

Courtesy: AFM Records

Veteran hard rock band Firewind has been entertaining audiences for more than two decades with its own brand of hard rock and power metal.  The band, founded by famed guitarist Gus G. has released eight albums, all of which have helped to earn the band legions of fans the world over.  That is even with what seems like constant lineup changes throughout the course of its nearly 25 year life.  Now with the forthcoming release of its ninth album Friday, the band’s success will continue even longer.  The self-titled release is a work that will appeal to the band’s longtime fans just as much as old school hard rock and metal fans in general.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements, which will be addressed more at length shortly.  The sequencing of the arrangements adds even more impact to this record.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Firewind without argument, one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

Firewind’s new forthcoming elf-titled album – its ninth album to date – is a powerful new offering from the veteran hard rock/power metal outfit.  It is one of those rare records that would make it so easy for audiences to take in from start to finish without skipping even one song.  From beginning to end, audiences are taken back to Firewind’s early days while also giving audiences plenty of hints of more modern work and mixing in influences from the likes of Judas Priest and others along the way.  Gus G. puts his full range of talent on display throughout the album, putting out riffs that are precise and cutting from one song to the next, and solos that few other guitarists could rival.  New front man Herbie Langhans’ vocal delivery is so full of its own fire (pardon the pun), adding even more to the impact of the album’s arrangements.  Johan Nunez’s time keeping is solid in its own right throughout the record, while also adding in just the right number and kind of flares with the cymbal crashes and fills.  Bassist Petros Christodoulidis’ work couples with Gus G’s melodies to create some very rich harmonies in each song.  Even as the album reaches the ballad that makes up its midpoint – ‘Longing To Know You’ — each musician’s talent is just as much on display as ever, proving the group can do more than just play fast and loud.  The string arrangement incorporated into the overall work adds to that song’s impact in the bigger picture of the album.  Between that “reserved” moment and the record’s higher-energy moments, the record in whole is to be applauded if only for the musical arrangements that display so much talent from the band members and that offer so much engagement and entertainment.  Luckily, the arrangements are just one part of what makes this record such a hard-hitting new presentation from Firewind.  The record’s sequencing strengthens the band’s new record even more.

Firewind’s sequencing is important to address because of its own ability to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  Over the course of the 47-minute record, audiences will note that it is comprised of three very distinct segments.  The first segment runs from the opener up until the aforementioned ballad that serves as a break point of sorts for the album.  That break point is the album’s second segment.  It immediately gives way to the song’s third segment, whose energy is just as powerful as that in the album’s first segment.  What is so interesting to note in examining all three of the record’s segments is that in the first and third segments, the energies remain extremely high.  It doesn’t lift at any point in either segment.  From the album’s opener – ‘Welcome to the Empire’ – right up to ‘Orbitual Sunrise,’ the energy never lets up at all.  What does change is the stylistic approach and lyrical content within each song.  So it’s not like the album gradually decreases its energy as it reaches its midpoint.  Rather, that midpoint is just a brief moment that allows listeners to catch their breath, and it is just brief enough, as the record’s energy picks right back up in ‘Perfect Strangers.’  The band keeps listeners pumping their fists and putting their horns up high from that point right to the album’s end.  Simply put, the album’s sequencing shows it has two settings – high and low.  There is no middle ground.  The closest that the album comes to that middle ground even begins to come is in ‘Overdrive,’ which comes immediately after ‘Perfect Strangers.’  Even as the energy in the song is slightly pulled back, the song is still heavy in its own right, providing just the briefest break in the album’s energy while keeping things moving forward.  Again, the short and simple here is that the album’s sequencing of the songs does just as much as the songs themselves to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  Those responsible for the sequencing are to be commended in their own right for their work.  Between the constantly changing of stylistic approaches in the songs to the stable energy throughout, the sequencing clearly plays its own crucial role to the whole of the album.  It still is not the last of the record’s most important elements.  He record’s overall production and mixing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The production and mixing are key to the record’s presentation because if not for that work, the songs would have been little more than a bunch of masses of metal noise.  Instead, audiences get such clear balance between each musician’s part in each song.  The result is 11 songs that each stand on their own musical merits.  The rapid fire work that is ‘Devour’ is a prime example of the payoff of that attention to detail.  Gus G.’s machine gun-fast shredding is a powerhouse to say the absolute least.  Had that been allowed to take center stage, none of his band mates would have had the opportunity to shine.  Luckily, that didn’t happen.  Nunez gets the chance to display his expert ability behind the kit.  Langhans’ powerhouse operatic vocal ability also gets to shine, thanks to the production here, while Christodoulidis’ low end is added just subtly enough, fleshing out the arrangement even more.  ‘Longing To Know You’ is another example of the importance of the record’s production and mixing.  The keyboard line in here serves as the song’s center point, ad shines so well against the drums, bass and even the guitar, which get their own attention, but keep their place as “supporting lines” here.  Everything is handled so well here that the overall impact is a deeply moving work.  ‘Space Cowboy’ is another example of the importance of the record’s production and mixing.  There is a lot going on here, between the drums, the vocals, the guitars and vocals.  It’s not the full on fist pumper that much of the record’s other work is, but there is still much happening.  Gus G and Langhans seem like they are competing for the limelight, but in reality, the two work together so well.  He gets his moment in the solos while Christodoulidis provides the primary support in the verses.  For everything that is going on here, the whole comes together quite well to make this a mainstream style work that audiences will enjoy just as much as the other noted songs and the rest of the album’s works.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album’s production and mixing and its impact on the album’s general effect plays its own crucial role to the whole of Firewind.  When it is considered along with the record’s songs and their sequencing, the whole of these elements makes Firewind a presentation that every hard rock and metal purist will agree is deserving of being called one of this year’s top new titles in said categories.

Firewind’s ninth new album is a work that shows this band still has quite a fire under its collective backside.  That is proven in part through the songs that make up the album’s body.  They will keep listeners engaged and entertained in their own right.  The sequencing of those songs adds even more power to the record, as they keep the record’s energy stable while switching up the songs’ stylistic approaches from one to the next.  The production and mixing that went into the record rounds out its most important elements, as it ensures each of the band members gets his own moment in the limelight throughout the record’s body.  All three noted items are important in their own way to the whole of this album.  All things considered, they make Firewind one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It will be available Friday.  More information on the album is available online along with the album’s latest news at:










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Queensryche Debuts ‘Bent’ Video

Courtesy: Century Media

Queensryche debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Bent.’  The song is taken from the band’s most recent album The Verdict, which was released in March through Red Music and Century Media Records.

Front man Todd LaTorre talked about the song’s musical arrangement and lyrical content in a recent interview.

“‘Bent’ is a lyrical conglomerate of social injustices and societal struggles infused with progressive musicality,” LaTorre said.  “Snippets of thought provoking subject matter take you on a journey of up tempo hard rock/metal riffs with melancholic melodies and atmospheres.”

Queensryche is on tour in Europe promoting its new single and The Verdict.  Mirrorplain and Firewind are serving as support for the first portion of the tour, which runs through August.

After completing the first leg of that tour, Queensryche will take some time to rest and recharge before heading back out across Europe in November. Firewind will serve as sole support on the second half of the tour.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

w/ Firewind, Mirrorplain
July 25 – Berlin, DE – SO36
July 26 – Rottenburt-Seebronn, DE – Rock of Ages *+
July 27 – Szekesfeherva, HU – Fezen Festival+
July 28 – Ljubljana, SL – Kino Siska
July 30 – Munchen, DE – Free & Easy Festival
July 31 – Aschaffenburg, DE – Colos-Saal
August 2 – Wacken, DE – Wacken Open-Air*+
August 3 – Eindhoven, NL – Effenaar
August 4 – Paris, FR – Petit Bain*
August 6 – Pinarella di Cervia, IT – Rock Planet
August 7 – Pratteln, CH – Konzertfabrik z7
August 9 – Kortrijk, BE – Alcatraz Festival+
August 10 – Leeuwarden, NL – Into The Grave Festival*+
August 11 – Walton-on-Trent, UK – Bloodstock Open Air Festival*+
August 13 – Norfolk, UK – Waterfront, Norwich*
August 14 – London, UK – o2 Islington Academy*
August 15 – Saarbrücken, DE – Garage*
August 16 – Dinkelsbuhl, DE – Summer Breeze Festival*+
August 17 – Essen, DE – Turock Festival*+
* FIREWIND do not appear
+ MIRRORPLAIN do not appear
w/ Firewind
November 15 – Thessaloniki, Greece – Fix Factory Of Sound
November 16 – Athens, Greece – Fuzz Club
November 19 – Krakow, Poland – Kwadrat
November 21 – Telfs, Austria – RathausSaal Telfs
November 23 – Stockholm, Sweden – Fryshuset Klubben
November 24 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
November 25 – Oslo, Norway – Tradgarn
November 26 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset
December 4 – Mannheim, Germany – MS Connexion
December 5 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
December 6 – Geiselwind, Germany – Christmas Bash
December 7 – Oberhausen, Germany – Ruhrpott Metal Meeting
* FIREWIND do not appear

Queensryche’s video for ‘Bent‘ is just its latest video to debut from The Verdict.  The band most recently released the video for ‘Light Years‘ in March.  That video was preceded in January by the video for ‘Dark Reverie,’ and that video by the video for the album’s lead single ‘Man The Machine.’

More information on Queensryche’s new single, video, tour dates and more is available online at:






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Gus G. Debuts EPK Ahead Of New Single, Album Release

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Firewind front man Gus G. will release his debut solo album this Spring.  I Am The Fire is scheduled to be released March 18th in the United States.  It will be released March 17th in Europe.  It will be released worldwide via Century Media Records.  Before he releases his debut, Gus G. has released a brand new EPK that offers audiences a look inside the making of the album.  Fans can check out the new EPK online now via YouTube at

The album’s title track is impacting radio now.  It is currently playing on Sirius RadioXM Octane.  It will be added to mainstream radio stations’ playlists beginning next Tuesday, February 18th.  It features the members of hard rock band Devour The Day as special guests.  It will go on sale digitally via iTunes February 25th.  The track listing for I Am The Fire is listed below.


  1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
  2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
  3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
  4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
  5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
  6. Just Can’t Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
  7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
  8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
  9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
  10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
  11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
  12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

Gus G. handled all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on his solo debut.  Brought along for the record were drummers Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Devo) and, Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Marty O’Brien (Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen), and vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex-Yngwie Malmstein/Therion), Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill),Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jacob Bunton (Adler) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey).  The album was produced by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther).

More information on Gus G., his new album, tour news and more is available online at,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at