Lamb Of God Album To Get Re-Issue Treatment

Courtesy: Epic Records

Lamb of God’s 2006 album Sacrament will see the light of day again next week.

The band is scheduled to re-issue the album digitally Aug. 20. The band made the announcement through a press release distributed Thursday. The document adds that a vinyl pressing will come in 2022, with an exact release date under consideration. According to the press release, the re-issue is meant to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Sacrament‘s original release.

The re-issue will feature three previously unreleased live tracks along with the original album’s presentation. The songs were recorded at the band’s 2020 performance at the House of Vans Chicago, which was the band’s only live show from 2020. The re-issue’s full track listing is noted below.

Sacrament (15th Anniversary) track listing:

1.      Walk with Me in Hell

2.      Again We Rise

3.      Redneck

4.      Pathetic

5.      Foot to the Throat

6.      Descending

7.      Blacken the Cursed Sun

8.      Forgotten (Lost Angels)

9.      Requiem

10.  More Time to Kill

11.  Beating on Death’s Door

12.  Walk with Me in Hell (Live from House of Vans Chicago)*

13.  Redneck (Live from House of Vans Chicago)*

14.  Descending (Live from House of Vans Chicago)*

*Previously unavailable on DSPs

In related news, Lamb of God will premiere its documentary, Walk With Me in Hell alongside the album’s re-issue. The presentation is a documentary that follows the band as it made Sacrament. A trailer for the documentary is streaming here.

Sacrament debuted at #8 upon its original release Aug. 22, 2006. It sold approximately 65,000 copies in its first week. The album’s single, ‘Redneck‘ earned the band a Grammy nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category. It was the band’s first-ever Grammy nomination. Additionally, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in September 2019.

In other news, Lamb of God is scheduled to tour with Megadeth, Hatebreed, and Trivium. The bands’ tour schedule is noted below.

Megadeth and Lamb of God 2021 North American Tour Dates:

Fri Aug 20 Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater

Sat Aug 21 Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

Sun Aug 22 Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman

Tue Aug 24 El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center

Wed Aug 25 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater

Fri Aug 27 Denver, CO – Ball Arena

Sun Aug 29 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre

Tue Aug 31 Reno, NV – Reno Events Center

Wed Sep 01 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre

Thu Sep 02  Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion***

Sat Sep 04   Portland, OR – Moda Center

Sun Sep 05  Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre***

Thu Sep 09  Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago***

Sat Sep 11 Danville, VA – Blue Ridge Festival*

Sun Sep 12  Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

Mon Sep 13 Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion

Wed Sep 15 Camden, NJ – B&T Pavilion***

Thu Sep 16  Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center***

Sat Sep 18   Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center***

Sun Sep 19  Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre***

Mon Sep 20  Cincinnati, ON – PNC Pavilion

Wed Sep 22   Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP***

Fri Sep 24 Mount Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino Amphitheatre

Sat Sep 25 Indianola, IA – Knotfest Iowa**

Sun Sep 26  St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis***

Tue Sep 28 Minneapolis, MN – Armory

Thu Sep 30  Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage

Fri Oct 01 Laval, QC – Place Bell

Sat Oct 02 Quebec City, QC – Centre Videotron

*Festival Date featuring all 4 bands.

**Festival Date, Knotfest Iowa does not include Hatebreed

More information on Lamb of God’s Sacrament re-issue, upcoming live dates, and news and more is available online now at:

Websitehttps://www.lamb-of-god.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/lambofgod

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/lambofgod

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.

Trivium Announces New Album Details; Debuts New Single’s Video

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Fans of Trivium will not have to wait long for the band’s next album.

The band is scheduled to release its next album (its 10th), In The Court of the Dragon Oct. 8 through its longtime label, Roadrunner Records. The band made the announcement Thursday through a news release. The album will come approximately a year and a half after the release of its most recent album, What the Dead Men Say.

In The Court of the Dragon has already produced one single — its title track — and a companion video to that song. The band premiered the video for the album’s second single, ‘Feast of Fire’ Thursday.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Feast of Fire’ is an interesting presentation. That is because of the juxtaposition of styles and sounds in the song’s verses and choruses. The verses is a stark contrast to what audiences have come to expect from Trivium with its melodic hard rock style complete with clean powerful vocals. It lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Alter Bridge, Sevendust, and Tremonti. The choruses meanwhile present more of the band’s familiar metalcore leanings. The two styles and sounds are drastically different, but are so well-balanced throughout the song.

The video is interesting in its own right. Shot and directed by John Deeb at the band’s “headquarters,” “The Hangar” in Orlando, FL, it features the band performing its new single together. That footage is paired with footage of the cover art for the band’s new album being loaded onto a plane and delivered to the band as the song plays over the whole.

Bassist Paolo Gregoletto talked about the band’s new single in an extensive prepared statement.

“There’s always that one song you aren’t expecting when you begin writing a new album,” he said.  “It could be a riff written on the spot in the rehearsal space, a lyric that pairs just right with a melody, or in the case of ‘Feast Of Fire,’ sitting right there in front of us in the middle of a demo that [guitarist] Corey [Beaulieu] brought in. We were well into pre-production at Full Sail when we all decided that something about the demo we had tracked was good but could be even better. Our producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Soulfly, Papa Roach) even had in his notes: ‘Bridge is special, maybe so special it needs its own song.’ We tore the song apart and began again on the spot.”

Gregoletto added, “We went into this album knowing we had time to consider everything and anything that came about during this period, and if need be, we could start again if it didn’t feel right given that no touring was on the horizon.”

He continued, “I had the words ‘Feast Of Fire’ written in my running list of notes for lyric ideas that I try to amass before we record. Something about the phrase stuck out to me. It felt like the missing piece of the story we were trying to tell with this album, a climactic moment and a real centerpiece for the narrative.”

He concluded, “After all these years, I’m still blown away at how a song can really appear out of thin air and take the album to a place you weren’t expecting. Those are the moments we are always looking for when making a record.”

The track listing for In The Court of the Dragon is noted below.

IN THE COURT OF THE DRAGON TRACK LISTING:
“X”  
“In The Court Of The Dragon” 
“Like A Sword Over Damocles”  
“Feast Of Fire”   
“A Crisis Of Revelation”  
“The Shadow Of The Abattoir”   
“No Way Back Just Through”   
“Fall Into Your Hands”   
“From Dawn To Decadence”   
“The Phalanx”   

In other news, Trivium is scheduled to tour alongside Hatebreed, Megadeth, and Lamb of God this summer. The bands’ tour schedule is noted below.

TRIVIUM ON TOUR:
8/20 — Austin, TX — Germania Insurance Amphitheater
8/21 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
8/22 — Woodlands, TX — The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
8/24 — El Paso, TX — Don Haskins Center
8/25 — Albuquerque, NM — Isleta Amphitheater
8/26 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion Ballroom (headline)
8/27 — Denver, CO — Ball Arena
8/29 — Phoenix, AZ — Arizona Federal Theatre
8/31 — Reno, NV — Reno Events Center
9/1 — Irvine, CA — FivePoint Amphitheatre
9/2 — Concord, CA — Concord Pavilion
9/4 — Portland, OR — Moda Center
9/5 — Auburn, WA — White River Amphitheatre
9/6 – Boise, ID, Revolution Concert House (headline)
9/9 — Tinley Park, IL — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago
9/10 – Pittsburgh, PA — Stage AE w/ Black Label Society
9/11 — Danville, VA — Blue Ridge Festival*
9/12 — Wantagh, NY — Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
9/13 — Boston, MA — Leader Bank Pavilion
9/15 — Camden, NJ — BB&T Pavilion
9/16 — Holmdel, NJ — PNC Bank Arts Center
9/18 — Noblesville, IN — Ruoff Music Center
9/19 — Clarkston, MI — DTE Energy Music Theatre
9/20 — Cincinnati, OH — PNC Pavilion
9/22 — Rogers, AR — Walmart AMP
9/24 — Mount Pleasant, MI — Soaring Eagle Casino Amphitheatre
9/25 – Des Moines, IA – Knotfest Iowa*
9/26 — St. Louis, MO — Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis
9/28 — Minneapolis, MN — Armory
9/30 — Toronto, ON — Budweiser Stage
10/1 — Laval, QC — Place Bell
10/2 — Quebec City, QC — Centre Videotron
*Festival Date featuring all 4 bands.

More information about Trivium’s new single, video and tour schedule is available along with all of Trivium’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.trivium.org

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Trivium

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TriviumOfficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Megadeth Names Bassist For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

James LoMenzo is rejoining Megedeth for its upcoming tour with Lamb of God, Trivium, and Hatebreed.

The band made the announcement Wednesday through a news release distributed to the media. LoMenzo, who parted ways with Megadeth in 2010, will replace Dave Ellefson, who actually replaced him after four years with the band between 2006-2010.

Mustaine spoke warmly of LoMenzo in a prepared statement in the announcement of LoMenzo rejoining the band for the tour.

“I’m happy to announce that former bassist and Megadeth alumni James LoMenzo has graciously stepped in on the Metal Tour of The Year, said Mustaine. Tour rehearsals just began, and we cannot wait to start crushing North America.”

LoMenzo also offered positive comments about the temporary reunion.

“I’m super stoked to be rejoining Megadeth for the upcoming Metal Tour of the Year, he said. “There are no better fans than Megadeth fans, I can’t wait to get out there and shred some Megadeth music with you all.”

LoMenzo’s reunion with his band mates comes on the heels of Ellefson’s firing following accusations of sexual misconduct with one of the band’s fans in May. According to the accusations, the fan in question was alleged to have been underage. That has yet to be fully proven in a court of law.

Megadeth’s tour with Trivium, Lamb of God and Hatebreed is scheduled to run from Aug. 20 – Oct. 2. The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP packages are available here.

Megadeth and Lamb of God 2021 North American Tour Dates:

Fri Aug 20 Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater

Sat Aug 21 Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

Sun Aug 22 Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman

Tue Aug 24 El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center

Wed Aug 25 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater

Fri Aug 27 Denver, CO – Ball Arena

Sun Aug 29 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre

Tue Aug 31 Reno, NV – Reno Events Center

Wed Sep 01 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre

Thu Sep 02  Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion***

Sat Sep 04   Portland, OR – Moda Center

Sun Sep 05  Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre***

Thu Sep 09  Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago***

Sat Sep 11 Danville, VA – Blue Ridge Festival*

Sun Sep 12  Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

Mon Sep 13 Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion

Wed Sep 15 Camden, NJ – B&T Pavilion***

Thu Sep 16  Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center***

Sat Sep 18   Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center***

Sun Sep 19  Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre***

Mon Sep 20  Cincinnati, ON – PNC Pavilion

Wed Sep 22   Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP***

Fri Sep 24 Mount Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino Amphitheatre

Sat Sep 25 Indianola, IA – Knotfest Iowa**

Sun Sep 26  St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis***

Tue Sep 28 Minneapolis, MN – Armory

Thu Sep 30  Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage

Fri Oct 01 Laval, QC – Place Bell

Sat Oct 02 Quebec City, QC – Centre Videotron

*Festival Date featuring all 4 bands.

**Festival Date, Knotfest Iowa does not include Hatebreed

More information on Megedeth’s statement and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.megadeth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Megadeth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Megadeth

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Dee Snider Unveils New Album’s Latest Single, Video; Announces New Streaming, Signing Events

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Dee Snider debuted the latest single from his new album and its video this week.

Snider premiered his new single, ‘Down But Never Out’ and its video Friday. The song is the third single from Snider’s brand new album, Leave a Scar. Its premiere follows that of the album’s first two singles, ‘I Gotta Rock (Again)‘ and ‘Time To Choose.’ ‘Time To Choose’ features a guest appearance by Cannibal Corpse front man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.

The musical arrangement featred in ‘Down But Never Out’ immediately lends itself to comparison to the best works of Judas Priest and at the same time, some of today’s top new hard rock acts.  That all around heaviness can likely be credited at least in part to Snider working with Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta on this record.  As a matter of fact, a close listen to the shouts in the chorus and the heavy “chunk” of the guitars at points does in fact point to Hatebreed as one of those noted current hard rock bands for comparison.  The intensity in the song’s arrangement works well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Down But Not Out’ is a proudly defiant statement about perseverance, which again is a central theme to most of Hatebreed’s songs.

Snider talked about the song’s lyrical theme during a recent interview.

“I pride myself on the fact that throughout the decades, my music has always tried to not only push back against all oppressors (in this case Covid-19), but also lift people up and encourage them to fight back,” he said. “‘Down But Never Out’ is a perfect example of this ethos.”

The video for ‘Down But Not Out’ tells the story of a man who clearly is down on his luck. He has past due bills, his woman has thrown him out, and so he ends up trying his luck at the lottery. The result is left to wonder about, as it ends “To Be Continued.” Added to the mix is footage of Snider and his band mates performing live.

In other news, Snider recently announced a streaming event for audiences. Tickets for the event are available here. Tickets provide access to the event and related content for approximately one month. That extra content includes a streaming concert that Snider recorded June 12 in New York.

Additionally, Snider announced Friday, that he will take part in a special in-store signing event at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 17 at Looney Tunes Record Store in West Babylon. Tickets for the event are available here.

More information on Dee Snider’s new live events, single, video, and album is available along with all of Dee Snider’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://deesnider.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/facedeesnider

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/deesnider

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.

Dee Snider’s New Album Will Leave Its Own Mark On This Year’s Field Of New Hard Rock/Metal Albums

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Dee Snider has, for decades, made a place for himself in the rock community with his outspoken nature and his music.  That combination has made him one of the industry’s most talked about figures in the rock community.  With the release of his new album, Leave a Scar Friday through Napalm Records, he is sure to continue cementing that reputation, too.  The album’s lyrical themes and its musical arrangements each support the noted statements in their own way.  ‘Down But Not Out’ is just one of the songs featured in this record that serves to help support the noted statements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The same can be said of the late entry, ‘Open Season.’ It will be examined a little later.  ‘Stand,’ the album’s finale, is yet another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content proves to make Leave a Scar another sure way for Dee Snider to remain one of the rock community’s most talked about figures.  It will be discussed later, too.  All three songs are obviously important in their own way to the whole of the album.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Leave a Scar a record that will leave a definite impact on audiences.

Dee Snider’s latest album, Leave a Scar is a strong new offering from the veteran rocker.  That is because its musical and lyrical content combined continue to exhibit his strong opinions and creativity.  Case in point is the early entry, ‘Down But Not Out.’  This song’s musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparison to the best works of Judas Priest and at the same time, some of today’s top new hard rock acts.  That all around heaviness can likely be credited at least in part to Snider working with Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta on this record.  As a matter of fact, a close listen to the shouts in the chorus and the heavy “chunk” of the guitars at points does in fact point to Hatebreed as one of those noted current hard rock bands for comparison.  The intensity in the song’s arrangement works well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Down But Not Out’ is a proudly defiant statement about perseverance, which again is a central theme to most of Hatebreed’s songs.  Right from the song’s outset, Snider sings, “We cannot/We can never stop/We’ve got to fight/This is our life/Your’e never lost when you can see the top.”  So right from that, this is that proudly defiant statement.  It continues in the rest of the song’s lead verse, “You think the world’s against you/You never had a chance/The bastards/They won’t let you through/We’d rather make a stand/Reach beyond/You’re not done…You may be down/But never out.”  Now some of the lyrics here are a little difficult to decipher sans lyrics sheet, but enough is understandable that the noted theme is clear.  The rest of the song continues in similar fashion, with Snider and whomever provides the backing vocals here re-enforce the message in the song’s chorus, singing, “Down, down, down/But never out.”  This positive, uplifting message is so firm and concrete in its presentation, and when it is paired with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of how the album’s lyrical and musical content joins to make it so engaging and entertaining.  It is just one of the songs here that serves that end, too.  ‘Open Season’ is another way in which Snider’s open commentary works with the album’s musical arrangements to ensure the album’s engagement and entertainment.

‘Open Season’ presents a musical arrangement that brings its guitar, vocals, bass, and drums fully together.  They combine to make the song’s musical arrangements one of those hard rock songs that bridges the cheesy over the top hard rock of the 80s and more assured sounds of the early-mid 90s.  The power in Snider’s vocal delivery here presents such a fire and anger.  It is an emotion to which so many listeners will relate. 

The fire in Snider’s delivery is enhanced when one takes in the song’s lyrical content.  Snider at one point comes right out and says to whomever, the he doesn’t “give a s***” about their self-love.  This comes across as being a response to the self-glorification that today’s generation has become obsesses with as a result of social media.  What’s more, he sings right from the song’s outset, “Hey, motherf*****/Are you kidding me?/You’d better/Get ready/This is a lesson that I give for free/Your lesson/Is coming/Your lamest words/They fall on deaf ears/It’s time like these/I live for all your salty tears/I live for times like these/You’ve given me a rason/To tell it like it is/Now it’s open season/I aim and never miss/No hidden meanings/My words are meant to burn/It’s open season…You’re gonna learn.”  This, as Snider says, is no nonsense.  People whining about x, y, or z and those items are likely so minor, he says they give him reason to rip into them.  People don’t like such response, but so be it.  This is how Snider has always been and he is declaring here that this is how he remains.  It is also how so many others are in this nation.  Those audiences will welcome this statement as they take in the song.  He continues in the song’s second verse, “You must have thought that I was someone else/You better get ready/I don’t give a s*** about your love of self/Your lesson/Is coming.”  This re-enforces the message presented in the song’s lead verse.  It is him reiterating that he does not care, he is going to speak his mind.  Again, there are plenty of people out there like him who refuse to just be outright overly diplomatic about everything in life and tiptoe around every topic.  It makes this song another clear example of Snider incorporating his often controversial personality into this record and making it work so well.  It is just one more way in which the album shows its strength, too.  ‘Stand,’ the album’s finale, also plays its own important role in the album’s presentation.

‘Stand’ takes listeners back to Snider’s classic rock roots in its musical arrangement.  The previously noted Judas Priest comparison is just as prevalent here as in other songs in this song, what with its brooding sound and approach.  It makes for an interesting contrast to the song’s firm message encouraging audiences to “Stand up for something/Never fall/No one trusting….Stand for something/Stand up/Don’t leave a mark/Leave a scar.”  He is saying here to do something that will leave a permanent mark on the world.  Usually, such a strong message would be accompanied by a much more fiery musical arrangement.  In this case, the heaviness is there, but the whole is so contemplative rather than assured and firm.  It really makes for an interesting presentation that still does echo Snider’s straight forward views and his ability to make music that people will remember.  When this unique whole is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole proves itself another way in which Snider is sure to continue cementing his place in the rock and hard rock communities.

Dee Snider’s new, forthcoming album Leave a Scar is a record that is sure to leave its own mark on audiences.  For that matter it will definitely leave its mark on this year’s field of new rock and hard rock albums.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content.  All three of the songs examined here serve well to prove that.  Their lyrical themes echo well, Snider’s openness with his thoughts while their musical arrangements do well to bridge his classic rock and metal influences with more modern leanings.  When these songs and the rest of the record’s works are considered together, they make Leave a Scar a work that will leave itself a memorable addition to this year’s field of new hard rock albums.  Leave a Scar is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.

More information on Leave a Scar is available along with all of Dee Snider’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://deesnider.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/facedeesnider

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/deesnider

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.

Don’t Fix What’s Not Broken: Hatebreed Finds Success With Familiar Approach To Its New Album

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Hatebreed has, for more than 25 years, remained at the forefront of the hardcore community by utilizing a very familiar approach, combining heavy, intense music with lyrical content that constantly promote self determination and perseverance.  It is a formula that the band has used time and again on its albums, to a certain level of success, too.  Considering the success that the band has found on those album, it should come as no surprise that the band used that formula once more on its latest album, Weight of the False Self.  It is just one of the aspects worth examining in this, the band’s eighth album.  Keeping that in mind, the record’s sequencing is worth examining in itself, and will be addressed 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.  All things considered, they make the album a work that will appeal easily to Hatebreed’s established fan base.

Hatebreed’s brand new, eighth album Weight of the False Self is another offering from the band that will appeal easily to the band’s established fan base.  That is due in part to the fact that it follows the old adage that if something is not broken, it does not need fixed.  Just as with its predecessors, the album features a combination of intense, hardcore-infused musical arrangements with constant lyrical reminders for listeners to look to themselves to overcome their own personal demons and all of life’s obstacles.  Case in point is the album’s lead single and album opener, ‘Instinctive (Slaughterlust).’  The song’s heavy, intense musical arrangement is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band, what with its pummeling guitar line, equally pounding drums and bass, and of course intense screams from front man Jamey Jasta.  Jasta screams right from the song’s outset, “Here kindness ends/Weakness dies/No one else/Never bow/Never break/So I tap into the savagery.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “Come with me down the abyss/Where shadows spawn from emptiness/I must transform to shed this husk/New urge to fulfill my slaughterlust/I sacrifice to dominate/My savage nature now unleashed/Breath swift and sharp against clenched teeth/Animal intuition empowers me.”  This is clearly someone who is feeling some very powerful thoughts and emotions.  He continues in the song’s chorus, stating, “I have become instinctive/Like an animal/Untamable.”  Again, here is someone who is going through a lot.  In presenting such feelings and thoughts, the heaviness in these lyrics and their musical accompaniment in whole makes the song a clear example of how the song’s combined contents makes it so appealing to the band’s fan base.

The album’s title track and second single is another example of how that combined content serves to make the album so appealing to the noted audiences.  It is heavy in its own right in terms of its musical content.  What’s important to note that the song’s musical arrangement stands out against that of the album’s lead single, but is still familiar to longtime fans.  Where the lead single’s musical arrangement was a direct, forward composition, this song’s arrangement takes listeners back to the slightly more melodic hardcore sound that the band has utilized throughout its life, too.  It’s not just heavy, crunching guitars (though they are there, clearly).  Rather it incorporates that element with a more structured melodic approach here, which again will appeal to the noted audiences.  It couples with the song’s familiar, no nonsense, and uplifting lyrical content to make the song stand out even more.  Right from the song’s outset, Jasta writes, “If you want to make a difference in the world, it means/You have to be different from the world you see/Free yourself from burdens that you know exist/Don’t carry the curse of the fatalist.”  This statement is repeated twice more before the song reaches its core, in which Jasta writes, “Lift the weight of the false self crushing you/Lift yourself up from malevolence/Lift the curse of the fatalist haunting you/Lift yourself out from the death grip/Lift the burden upon your shoulders/There’s a challenge that’s begging to be risen to/There’s a voice and it’s your true self calling you/End the cycle/Kill all the willful self-abuse/Never justify another excuse.”  Point blank, this is another familiar lyrical theme from Jasta.  It is that noted message of self-determination and perseverance. It is encouraging listeners to be the best that they can be, and to rise above their own limitations, as well as those set by people around them.  It is a message that even as many times as it is delivered, is always welcome.  To that end, when it is paired with the song’s equally familiar stylistic approach to the song’s musical arrangement, the whole becomes another example of why this record’s collective musical and lyrical content is so important to its whole. 

Perhaps the most intriguing addition to Hatebreed’s new album, in terms of its musical content, is its closer, ‘Invoking Dominance.’  The song opens with a distinct doom metal style approach, which is something rather unheard of from this band.  Of course, that new approach just under a minute before the band launches into its familiar hardcore approach.  Even with the brief variation, the very fact that the band would branch out even that much is worth noting.  It shows that maybe, just maybe, when and if Hatebreed releases its next album, audiences will get more of that growth from the band.  One can only hope.  Once the band launches into that more familiar musical approach, the equally familiar lyrical content comes into play, with Jasta screaming, “I must reclaim what’s mine/Invoking dominance inside/If it means I put my life on the line/This voice cannot be denied/Now I reclaim what’s mine/test the waters/Sick of the pain/Enter unforgiving domain/Thought this was over….I’m going for the kill/thought you could poke the scorpion’s nest…You thought this was over/It’s not over ‘til you take your final breath.”  The rest of the song follows a similar line from there, with that continued theme of facing great odds and refusing to give up in order to take what is rightfully one’s own.  This is metaphorical language to a point, delivering a message of overcoming those obstacles, “reclaiming what’s mine” or rather reclaiming that self confidence no matter what it means facing.  Yet again it is a familiar topic and theme from Hatebreed that will appeal to the noted audiences.  When it is paired with that noted equally familiar musical arrangement, the whole proves once more why this record will appeal so strongly to Hatebreed’s established fan base.  That assurance is strengthened even more when it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries.  Of course all of that taken into consideration, the album’s content is just one part of what make it so appealing for audiences.  The sequencing of the album’s songs adds to its appeal.

As has already been noted, the musical arrangements that make up the body of Hatebreed’s new album are familiar for longtime fans.  The stylistic approach presents a constant energy from one song to the next.  The only point at which the album perhaps even begins to pull back is in ‘A Stroke of Red,’ the album’s midpoint.  The stylistic approach here is slightly slower, in terms of tempo, but the heaviness is still there, so even in this case, the song still keeps the record’s energy flowing.  The previously noted doom metal intro to the album’s closer, ‘Invoking Dominance,’ is the only other point at which the record pulls back. Again though, that pullback is only temporary.  Once the song reaches the one minute mark, the energy picks back up, returning the album to its energetic high right to the song’s (and album’s) end.  Simply put, the album’s sequencing ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment throughout with its maintained high energy.  That aspect, coupled with the album’s content, strengthens the album’s foundation even more, and in turn ensures even more that the band’s established fan base will appreciate the album.  It still is not the last of the album’s most important elements.  Its production rounds out its most important elements.

The production featured in Weight of the False Self is important to address because of everything already examined.  There is so much ferocity exuded throughout the course of the record’s 34 minute run time.  Considering this, it would have been so easy for the vocals, or the guitars, or even drums and bass to get lost in the mix.  Luckily though, that did not happen at any point.  From beginning to end, the instrumentation is expertly balanced.  Additionally, the instrumentation is just as well-balanced with the songs’ vocals.  The result of the work that went into the record’s production is a presentation that is just as heavy and raw as any of Hatebreed’s existing records.  When this is taken into account with the album’s sequencing and its content, the whole of the album leaves the band’s established fans fulfilled, agreeing that this record is just as appealing as any of Hatebreed’s any other albums.

Hatebreed’s latest album Weight of the False Self  is a record that is just as certain to appeal to the band’s established fan base as any of the band’s existing records.  That is proven in part through its combined musical and lyrical content, as evidenced here.  The record’s musical arrangements are just as fiery and intense as those featured in the band’s previous albums, using a familiar stylistic approach from beginning to end.  The lyrical content is meant to uplift listeners just as much as that in the band’s past works, too.  The sequencing of the album’s songs keeps the energy flowing solidly throughout, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  The album’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, making sure that everything is balanced throughout the album.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Weight of the False Self another work that will appeal easily to Hatebreed’s fans.  The album is available now.

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

Websitehttp://www.hatebreed.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/hatebreed

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/hatebreed

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.

Lonelyouth Debuts New Single, ‘In The Deep,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent metalcore band Lonelyouth debuted its new single ‘In The Deep’ this week along with the single’s companion lyric video.

The band band debuted the song and video Friday. The song’s musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Hatebreed, 36 Crazyfists, and The Used.

Guitarist Josh Dawn offered his thoughts on the song’s arrangement in a recent interview.

“‘In the Deep’ brings to mind the sweat and blood covered basement show where you get punched in the face with rhythms and melodies big enough to get an arena airborne,” he said. “This song rattles your bones and peaks those adrenaline levels. If you have no fear of your blood vessels bursting go ahead and spin it.”

Front man Tyler Vinatelli expanded on Dawn’s comments.

“Blending influences of the Nu-metal kings we grew up, mixed with inspiration from the metalcore giants we watched at shows and where we found our home comes ‘In The Deep,’” said Vinatelli. “A perfect blend of aggressive, and melodic that pushes the boundaries of what is going on in heavy music today. If you’re looking for something fresh and real to bang your head to, give it a spin or 100. It’s a new era for Lonelyyouth.”

The lyric video for ‘In The Deep’ places the song’s lyrics over a backdrop of rain falling on a road. That backdrop changes constantly between a medium and close-up shot while the presentation of the lyrics changes style throughout, too.

Speaking of lyrics, the song’s lyrical theme comes across as a commentary on the balance between those people who are so narcissistic, needing constant reassurance and praise, and those people who can’t help but feel like they are not good enough. It’s an argument of sorts, it seems, as the song’s subject notes not needing that attention, just dealing with the noted feelings of insecurity and depression, while the other is just a person being selfish and self-centered. This seeming theme, coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, makes for a song that is sure to engage listeners.

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lonelyouthrock

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.

Iced Earth Announces Debut LP Re-Issue Date, Specs; Debuts Album’s Lead Single

Iced Earth is going back to where it all started.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The band announced Friday that it will re-issue its self-titled 1990 debut album Dec. 18 on CD and digital platforms. Famed producer ZEUSS (Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Queensryche) handled the album’s re-mastering and re-mixing.

A vinyl release will follow the re-issue’s CD and digital re-issue on Jan. 8 alongside a limited edition digipack re-issue. The re-issue is meant to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary. Pre-orders are open.

Guitarist Jon Schaffer said in a prepared statement, he was looking forward to the album’s re-issue.

“This 30 year old debut classic has been remixed and remastered from the original 2 inch tapes by Zeuss, and it sounds fantastic,” he said. “It has a modern touch and still retains the dynamics of the original release. This is a big step forward sonically and visually. We’re excited to have our exclusive artwork and blood red vinyl version at www.icedearthmerch.com.

In celebration of the album’s forthcoming re-issue, the band debuted the re-mastered take of the record’s lead single ‘Written on the Walls‘ Friday.

The album’s track listing is noted below.

Iced Earth (30th Anniversary Edition) Tracklisting:

1. Iced Earth (Remaster 2020)

2. Written On The Walls (Remaster 2020)

3. Colors (Remaster 2020)

4. Curse The Sky (Remaster 2020)

5. Life And Death (Remaster 2020)

6. Solitude (Remaster 2020)

7. Funeral (Remaster 2020)

8. When The Night Falls (Remaster 2020)

More information on Iced Earth’s forthcoming re-issue is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://icedearth.com

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

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.

Saul’s New LP Shows This Band’s Star Is On The “Rise”

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

You can do anything that you put your mind to.  Everybody knows that old adage, and independent hard rock band Saul is proof that the noted words of wisdom are in fact true.  While the band got its start during the high school years of its founding members, brothers Blake and Zach Bedsaul, the band wasted little time chasing its dream, eventually hitting the road and releasing its debut studio recording Aeons last March.  Now less than two years after its release, the band released its debut album, Rise as Equals.  The 14-song record is a positive second studio offering and equally strong full-length debut for the band.  That is proven in part early on in the song ‘Brother.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Rise as Equals,’ the album’s title track is another example of what the album has to offer audiences.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Sticks and Stones’ is yet another example of what makes Saul’s new album stand out.  It will be addressed later, too.  All three songs noted here do their own part to make this record worth hearing.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a work that is the beginning of Saul’s rise to equal fame with the band’s more well-known counterparts.

Saul’s debut full-length studio recording Rise as Equals is the beginning of this band’s rise to fame equal to that of its contemporaries.  That is proven in part early on in the album’s run in the form of the song ‘Brother.’  The band’s members waste no time launching into the nearly four-and-a-half-minute song’s musical arrangement, taking off right from the song’s outset.  The crunching guitars, bass and drums couple with front man Blake Bedsaul’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Hellyeah, Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin.  It doesn’t let up until late in the song’s run, either.  That moment when the song’s energy pulls back is well-placed, too.  That is because it helps to heighten the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme right at that moment.

Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Bedsaul explained in an interview about the song’s topic.  “Lyrically, this song defines what I should have said to my brother in his last moments,” Bedsaul said in the interview.  “This song cuts deep for me, and it’s a constant reminder that life is fleeting.  Tell the people in your life that you love them.”  This message is delivered clearly as Bedsaul sings in the lead verse, “I write this letter/It’s a letter I’ll never send/Words I’d never say/Would you read it anyway/Tell me brother, what’s my fate/Did you see the sunrise/Did you see the rain/We’ve come so far/Penniless in pain/This is my fate/The world awaits/Hold my hands and tell me that it’s alright/Are you proud of everything I’ve done in my life.”  From here, Bedsaul goes on to sing in the song’s chorus asking pleadingly to his brother “Are you still proud of me after everything that I’ve done?”  Bedsaul continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse.  Ultimately what this comes across as (at least to this critic) is a person who is dealing with a lot of personal guilty and heavy feelings in general.  Those thoughts and feelings are translated very well.  When it is considered alongside the companion that is the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole becomes a work that easily holds its own against its more well-known noted counterparts, and proves easily that it could just as easily be played on any mainstream/active rock station along with songs from those bands.  It is just one of the songs featured in this EP that makes the record appealing for its noted audiences. ‘Rise as Equals,’ the album’s title track is another example of its strength.

Much as with ‘Brother,’ the musical arrangement featured in ‘Rise as Equals’ is a very industrial/melodic metal style composition.  What audiences will appreciate that despite having a very similar stylistic approach to that of ‘Brother’ and the album’s other works, it still boasts its own unique, heavy sound that also boasts its own share of melody, too.  The heaviness and the sincerity in the melody serves well to help deliver the message of unity featured in the song’s lyrical content.

The noted message of unity is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “You are my equals/We bleed when we’re cut/We weep when we’re torn/We love and we lose/We scar and we bruise/From the day that we’re born/We fall and we fight/We’re all damaged inside/Under our skin/We all want to win/We see eye to eye/I will be there for you/You will be there for me.”  It is made just as clear, if not more so, in the song’s second verse, which states, “There is no above/There is no below/We’re willing to bleed for what we believe/We all reap what we sow/I will be there for you/You will be there for me/RISE.”  The song’s chorus adds even more impact, stating, “This is my tribe/These are my people/Sisters and brothers/You are my equals/Live till we die/Together we’re lethal/Sisters and brothers/You are my equals/I won’t let you go/You are my equals/I won’t let you go.”  Once again, audiences get a proud statement of unity even despite the world’s situation.  Together with the song’s noted equally powerful musical arrangement, the two elements jointly make this song its own impacting work and just one more notable addition to Rise as Equals.  ‘Sticks and Stones,’ which comes late in the record’s run, is another of the album’s strongest entries.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sticks and Stones’ is another industrial style song that also adds in some very distinct hardcore influences a la Hatebreed, Terror, etc.  That is evidenced through the pairing of the heavy, crunching guitars and screaming vocal delivery style.  What makes the arrangement even more interesting is the pairing of the more melodic elements alongside that heavier side.  The contrast is noticeable in the two sounds, yet the band still manages to make the pairing work, and work well at that.  It pairs well with the song’s equally powerful lyrical theme, which focuses on a toxic personality who has caused an otherwise good, controlled person to lose their cool.

The noted theme is inferred right from the song’s outset, as it states, “Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Close knit failing scene/Watch me live your broken dreams/I said I’d never get low I’d never get petty/You’ve broken the dam and opened the levee/Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Crooked smiles I’m not your martyr/Want to be me you better try harder.” The song’s second verse hints even more at the noted theme, as it states, “Always doubted me/They stand in disbelief/I knew I’d be the king at the top of the pile/When you see me I’ll be nothing but smiles/Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Can’t take what you never earned/Can’t fake what you never learned.”  The song goes on to outright call the person in question “Two-faced.”  That speaks volumes when considered alongside the rest of the song’s noted lyrical content.  Taking all of this into account, the heaviness and fire in the song’s musical arrangement becomes even more impacting, especially when coupled with this no nonsense message.  When the song in whole is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the album, in its entirety, proves to be the point at which Saul really starts its rise to fame equal to that of its fellow metal and hard rock acts.

Saul’s debut album Rise as Equals is a record that proves it will not take long before this band is equal to its more well-known counterparts in the hard rock and metal community.  That is evidenced in the record’s musical and lyrical content, as pointed out here.  When the three songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the record in whole leaves no doubt, that Saul’s star is on the rise.

More information on Rise as Equals is available now along with all of Saul’s current live dates and more at:

Websitehttp://saulofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saulbandofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/saulband

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.

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

Courtesy: Psychodrama Records

Dry Kill Logic debuted its new single this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Website: http://drykilllogic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/drykilllogic

 

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