ESPN Announces 2017-18 ‘MNF’ Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The unofficial countdown to the start of the 2017 – 2018 NFL season starts in only a few days with the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, and in anticipation of the big day, ESPN has released its Monday Night Football broadcast schedule for the upcoming season.

The 48th season of ESPN’s Monday Night Football begins Monday, Sept. 11 with a double-header schedule.  The Saints and Vikings open the night in an NFC inter-divisional matchup at 6:55 p.m. ET.

The Chargers (in their first season in Los Angeles) will face off against the Broncos in an AFC West matchup.  Coverage is scheduled to start at 10:15 p.m. ET/7;15 p.m. PT.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team of Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will cover the night’s early game.  The on-air team for the late game will be announced soon.  Suzy Kolber will anchor the ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pre-game show throughout the season along with the network’s halftime and post-game SportsCenter live from each game’s location.

Both of last season’s Super Bowl teams will make appearances on Monday Night Football appearances this season.  The Patriots will appear Dec. 11 against Miami.  Atlanta will make two appearances on MNF this season.  The team’s first appearance will be Nov. 20 in Seattle against the Seahawks and the second on Dec. 18 against Tampa Bay.

All 12 of last season’s playoff teams will also make appearances on MNF this season. Eight teams will have two appearances.  Nine of 17 of this season’s MNF game will feature divisional matchups.

The network’s preseason NFL coverage starts Thursday, Aug. 17 as the Bucs take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville.  The Browns will play host to the Giants on Aug. 21 to round out the pre-season.

ESPN Deportes will offer Spanish-language broadcasts of every game this season while fans will once again be able to stream games online via WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

The complete 2017 – 2018 Monday Night Football broadcast schedule is noted below.

 

ESPN’s 2017 Monday Night Football Schedule

Preseason    
Date Time (ET) Teams
Thurs, Aug. 17 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Mon, Aug. 21 8 p.m. New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
Regular Season    
Sept. 11 6:55 p.m. New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
  10:15 p.m. Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Sept. 18 8:15 p.m. Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Sept. 25 8:15 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Oct. 2 8:15 p.m. Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs
Oct. 9 8:15 p.m. Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct. 16 8:15 p.m. Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Oct. 23 8:15 p.m. Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Oct. 30 8:15 p.m. Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Nov. 6 8:15 p.m. Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Nov. 13 8:15 p.m. Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
Nov. 20 8:15 p.m. Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
Nov. 27 8:15 p.m. Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Dec. 4 8:15 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Dec. 11 8:15 p.m. New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Dec. 18 8:15 p.m. Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dec. 25 8:15 p.m. Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles

More information on ESPN’s Monday Night Football coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNFL

 

 

 

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‘For All Kings’ Vinyls Box Shows Why Anthrax Is Still Rock And Metal Royalty

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Anthrax is considered by most metal fans to be one of the kings of the metal community.  That title is fully justified, too after a single look through the band’s extensive catalogue.  The music that the veteran thrash metal outfit has crafted throughout its life has maintained its place atop the metal mountain along with the likes of Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth.  Late last month, Anthrax proved once again why it remains one of metal’s leading names when it released its new For All Kings 7” vinyls box set.  The new collection is a set that any true Anthrax fan will enjoy.  That is due in part to the songs selected for the collection.  This will be discussed shortly.  The collection’s packaging plays its own key part in its overall presentation, too.  It will be discussed later.  The set’s pricing rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each element clearly plays its own pivotal part in the overall presentation of Anthrax’s new For All Kings 7” vinyls box set.  All things considered, this latest effort from Anthrax maintains the band’s place as rock and metal royalty.

Anthrax’s recently released For All Kings 7” vinyls box set is another recording proving why the veteran thrash outfit is still today rock and metal royalty.  While the collection is technically a re-issue of the band’s 2016 album For All Kings, it is also a new release in that it presents the album’s original 11 songs and adds in some extra, previously unreleased takes on some of those songs.  It also adds in a pair of cover songs in the form of Kansas’ ‘Carry On’ and White Stripes’ ‘Black Math.’  The previously unreleased ‘Vice of the People’ is also included as an extra bonus for fans in this set.  While not every one of the songs featured in For All Kings gets the double treatment, a good portion of said songs does get that treatment, and audiences will appreciate those bonus takes.  Case in point, ‘Blood Eagle Wings’’ demo take.  The demo presents more of a garage rock sound than the final product presented in For All Kings.  The final product is much fuller, though it doesn’t lose any of the heaviness of the demo, which audiences will appreciate.  That can be determined in listening to the pair as the demo take doesn’t include front man Joey Belladonna’s vocals.

On another note, the demo and final take of ‘Breathing Lightning’ are virtually the same.  The only difference between these two is that one is the full instrumental take while the other includes Belladonna’s vocal line.  This is important because it allows audiences to fully take in the song’s arrangement without having to sift through that extra line.  It would have been interesting to hear his track isolated.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  That aside, hearing the song’s isolated arrangement is important because it lets audiences hear nuances like the trash can like ping of drummer Charlie Benante’s snare or Scott Ian’s Kirk Hammet-esque guitar line.  The snare drum by itself honestly sounds awful to this drummer, but when coupled with Belladonna’s vocals and the rest of the lines, it works.  Ian’s guitar line, when coupled with the song’s bass line, makes the song even fuller.  Again, it shows the importance of being able to hear not just multiple takes of the songs featured here but every side of songs in general.

The demo takes of FAK’s songs featured here are in themselves key to the collection’s overall presentation.  Of course one cannot ignore the bonus b-side ‘Vice of the People’ and the band’s cover of White Stripes’ ‘Black Math.’  ‘Vice of the People’ is a heavy-full on slab of metal that will take audiences back to the band’s infancy with its driving arrangement and lyrical content.  The band’s full-throttle cover of ‘Black Math’ is just as interesting of an addition to the collection’s whole.  The band’s take of this song makes one think instantly of Motorhead, Thin Lizzy and so many other similar acts thanks to its arrangement.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion possible.  Between these two bonuses, the FAK demos and the FAK finals, it should be wholly clear now why the songs featured in this collection are so critical to its overall presentation.  They are collection’s foundation.  Sitting atop that foundation is the set’s packaging, which is just as important to discuss.

The songs featured in Anthrax’s new For All Kings 7” vinyls collection form a solid foundation for the collection’s overall presentation.  That is because of the rich picture painted through the songs.  While they are undeniably critical to the collection’s overall presentation, they are not its only important pieces.  The collection’s packaging is just as important to discuss as the songs.  The songs culled for the collection are spread across a total of 10 7-inch discs, each in its own sleeve inside a larger box bearing the original FAK artwork. Each vinyl’s sleeve boasts its own single cover art. The box containing the separate vinyls is not small.  But it also is not some overly bulky container either.  Simply put, while the box is not small, it is still relatively ergonomically sound.  It won’t take up too much room in anyone’s collection.  In an age when people are so concerned about going digital to save space in their homes, this is very much an important element to note.  Keeping this in mind, the collection’s box builds solidly on the foundation formed by the collection’s songs, setting up the last of the set’s most important elements—its pricing.

The songs featured in Anthrax’s new For All Kings 7” vinyls box and the collection’s packaging are both critical parts of the collection’s whole to discuss.  That has already been noted.  While both elements are clearly important in their own right, they are not its only important elements.  Its pricing is the last of the collection’s most important elements but hardly its least important element.  Comparing its price between Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon and Best Buy, the set’s price averages to approximately $87.28.  In other words, its average price stays below the $100 mark even after tax and shipping. Considering the amount of material presented across the collection and the box’s size, that is actually not a bad average.  While not necessarily cheap per se, it is still economical along with being ergonomic and enjoyable.  Simply put, its average pricing would not break the bank for any longtime Anthrax fan or someone looking for the perfect gift for that special Anthrax fan.  When that is considered along with the set’s packaging and its breadth of material, it proves to be a collection that will appeal to any Anthrax fan regardless of whether they consider the collection a re-issue of For All Kings or a new release overall.

Anthrax’s recently released For All Kings 7” vinyls box set is a collection that will remind the metal community in whole why Anthrax is still rock and metal royalty.  Whether one considers it a re-issue of the previously released 2016 album or an overall new release, it boasts plenty to prove the band’s place among the rock and metal echelons including FAK’s original 2016 release and demo takes of many of the album’s songs, and a pair of bonus tunes. That wide breadth of material couples with ergonomic packaging and a price point that won’t break any fan’s bank. It proves this band still cares about providing quality and quality entertainment to its fans.  It shows once again why Anthrax is still rock and metal royalty.  Anthrax’s new For All Kings 7” vinyls box set is available now in stores and online.  More information on the collection is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://anthrax.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

 

 

 

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‘Vintage Italia’ Is Sure To Become Vintage In Any Listener’s Music Library

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

Putumayo World Music is one of the leading names in the World Music realm.  That is thanks to recordings that have taken listeners on great musical adventures to almost every corner of the globe.  From Latin America to Ireland to Australia and many other points, Putumayo World Music has consistently offered audiences great music from so many nations.  Its latest musical outing Vintage Italia is no different.  This 11-song album is a work that will appeal both to fans of World Music and Jazz.  This is due in part to the record’s featured songs and their performers.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s companion booklet is just as important to its overall presentation as its songs.  This will be discussed later.  The bonus Sgroppino (Italian cocktail) recipe included in the album’s booklet rounds out the record’s most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the record’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Vintage Italia proves to be one of the year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues offerings.

Putumayo World Music’s new classic Italian Jazz compilation Vintage Italia is one of this year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  That is due in part to its featured songs and the artists who performed said songs.  The songs themselves are so notable because they are in large part classic jazz compositions from the 1950s and 1960s that are the original recordings no less.  Hearing those original compositions is like opening yet another time capsule, taking listeners back to those eras.  Not all of the songs included in this compilation are from the 20th Century, though.  A small handful of the record’s featured songs are from the 21st Century and their associated acts, too.

Speaking of the acts performing the featured songs, listeners will be interested to learn that the acts featured throughout the record are themselves largely Italian.  From legends such as Julia De Palma and Fred Buscaglione to more modern acts such as Gianmaria Testa and Emanuele Tozzi, the record’s featured artists present the past present and future of Italy’s rich jazz scene.  Just as interesting to note is the fact that the performers featured here also include a Canadian-born performer of Italian descent, an Austrian group known for covering music from around the world and even an American act formed in Washington state.  One might ask on the surface why this is so important.  The answer is that it shows the far-reaching impact and influence of jazz (and music in general) crafted by Italian artists throughout the nation’s history.  Keeping that in mind, it shows why the performers featured in Vintage Italia and their songs are so important to the record’s overall presentation.  They are collectively only part of what makes this compilation so enjoyable.  Even as important as they are to the record’s overall presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The record’s companion booklet plays its own key role in the record’s presentation, too.

The songs and artists featured in Vintage Italia are in themselves key pieces of the record’s whole.  That is because of the picture that they paint both by themselves and together.  While they are important parts of the record’s whole, they are not its only key elements.  The record’s companion booklet plays its own key part in the record’s overall presentation.  The booklet is so important because of the history that it provides audiences.  It starts with a history of how jazz became so popular in Italy after World War II thanks to American GIs still living there at the time.  The history is brief but concise, showing the influence that American and Italian Jazz in fact had on one another.  From there, the booklet presents equally brief but concise bios on the record’s performers, even offering some insight on their associated songs.  That insight adds to the songs’ enjoyment even if listeners might not speak Italian.  Precise translations are provided of key passages that help illustrate the songs’ subjects.  When those translations are coupled with the history and insight offered on each song and artist, they make the record’s overall listening experience even more enjoyable.  That is because said material adds to the appreciation of the songs in regards to their content and history.  That added depth is not the last important element to discuss in examining this record’s overall presentation.  The bonus cocktail recipe puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The musical and informational content provided throughout Vintage Italia are both key pieces of the record’s overall presentation.  They are not its only important elements, though.  The record also includes a bonus recipe for a Sgroppino, or Italian Cocktail in the booklet.  The recipe includes a detailed list of ingredients and instructions for the drink, which is itself a vintage Italian beverage, even offering a little bit of information on the drink itself as part of the recipe.  Audiences who enjoy a cool drink especially on warm summer nights will enjoy this drink while perhaps hosting a party with the record’s music as a backdrop on a warm summer’s eve.  The addition of the recipe is nothing new for compilations  from Putumayo World Music.  Most, if not all, of its compilations come complete with a recipe for an associated drink or dish to go with the music featured on said records along with an equally rich depth of background history information from their companion booklets.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus drink recipe included in Vintage Italia’s companion booklet makes this recording *refreshing* in more ways than one.  That recipe joins with the record’s musical and informational content to make this collection so refreshing that it proves to be one of the year’s top new World Music and Jazz & Blues records.

Putumayo’s latest World Music offering Vintage Italia is a record that World Music and Jazz & Blues fans of all ages will appreciate.  That is due to musical and information content that will keep them fully engaged from start to finish.  The bonus drink recipe included with the record’s booklet puts the finishing touch on the record’s presentation.  Each element proves positive in its own right to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they make Vintage Italia a record that is sure to become vintage in any of the noted audiences’ music libraries.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.putumayo.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/putumayomusic

 

 

 

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Aesthetic Issues Are Not Enough To Sink ‘Hell Below’

Courtesy: Smithsonian Channel/Public Media Distribution

Smithsonian Channel officially released its latest World War II documentary Hell Below earlier this week.  The two-disc collection focuses warfare waged from below the waves throughout the war.  It is not the network’s first time focusing on WWII submarine warfare, but it is still enjoyable in its own right, even despite its negatives.  The stories that are told over the course of the documentary’s two discs are collectively the documentary’s primary positive.  This will be discussed shortly.  While the stories do plenty to keep audiences engaged over the course of the documentary’s 360 minute (six-hour) run time, the documentary is not perfect.  It suffers from a pair of negatives, too, the most significant of which is the lack of an episode listing anywhere inside or outside the set’s box.  This will be discussed later and is hardly the set’s only negative.  While the set does suffer from some negatives, it is not a total loss, as already noted in regards to its featured stories.  The re-enactments, used to help tell the featured stories add to the stories.  That being the case, they are key in examining the set’s presentation, too.  Each element is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Hell Below a program that is worth at least an occasional watch by history buffs and more specifically WWII history buffs alike.

Hell Below, Smithsonian Channel’s latest WWII feature presentation, is a program that history and WWII history buffs alike will appreciate.  They will agree in watching it, that it is a history-based program that is worth at least one watch.  That is due in part to the stories that are presented throughout the course of its six-hour run time.  The stories focus on some of World War II’s most significant submarine conflicts including conflicts in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.  From the Allies fighting against German U-Boats to Allied subs fighting German and Japanese ships (and even saving allied troops), the stories tell a variety of intriguing pieces of the war’s history.  Audiences will be shocked to learn how Native American POWs were inadvertently shot and killed by American sea men after a German ship carrying them was sunk and the lack of fallout from that event.  Just as interesting to learn is the story of the American sub Harder in the episode “Destroyer Killer.”  This underdog story of sorts follows the crew of the Harder as it rescued allied commandos from Japanese clutches and survived multiple Japanese attacks en route to and from a covert surveillance mission. The sub’s sad fate following its return to its Australian base adds even more depth to the story.  The surprising story of two allied convoys’ escape from multiple U-Boat attacks in another episode is yet another truly interesting piece that will keep audiences enthralled. Between those episodes and the others not noted here, the stories in whole prove to be the most important overall element to Hell Below’s overall presentation.

The stories that are presented over the six-hour course of Hell Below are critical to the program’s presentation.  That is because from one to the next, the stories will keep history buffs, WWII history buffs and audiences in general enthralled with the stories of the Allies’ determination to defeat the Axis powers.  While the program’s featured stories are undeniably important to its overall presentation, the program is not perfect in its home release.  It does suffer from a handful of issues, not the least of which is the issue of its episode guide.  Audiences will be saddened to discover that the program’s episodes are listed only on the program’s menu.  In other words, audiences are forced to play the discs and virtually memorize which episodes are on which disc in order to know which is where.  There is no episode guide inside or outside the box even as an insert.  It may seem like a minor element about which to be concerned, but the reality is that having something as minor as an episode guide makes choosing which episode(s) to watch much easier and more enjoyable.  To that end, being forced to choose episodes only by playing the program’s discs detracts greatly from the program’s presentation in its home release.

On another level, the redundancy of the CG sequences and even some of the re-enactments takes away even more from the program’s presentation.  From one episode to the next, it seems like the same CG sub is shown attacking the same CG ship right down to the ships being hit by the same torpedos.  The same applies when the subs surface and dive.  Obviously this was a cost cutting measure.  That is understandable.  But the reality is that the Allied and Axis subs did not look exactly the same.  By presenting the same sequences over and over again, it presents the image that the subs all looked the same.  To that end, cost cutting might not have been such a good move.  Hopefully those behind this program (and Smithsonian Channel’s executives) will take this into account with the network’s next WWII documentary.

The lack of an episode guide for Hell Below and the redundancy of its CG sequences do much to detract from its overall presentation in its new home release.  The lack of an episode guide makes choosing episodes more trouble than it should be.  The redundancy of the CG sequences is takes away from the program’s aesthetic value on the surface.  That is because seeing the same sequences from one episode to the next eventually gets boring.  On another level, it raises a concern about presenting historical accuracy in regards to the design of the Axis and Allied ships and subs.  Considering all of this, these negatives greatly detract from the program’s overall presentation.  However, those negatives are not so great that they make the program wholly unwatchable.  The re-enactments that are used to tell the featured stories, while at times redundant themselves, add to the stories’ interest.  The actors enlisted to portray the crews of the subs and ships are to be applauded for their work on camera.  The tension on their faces and the very immediacy in their actions drives home the importance of the real crews’ efforts to defeat the Axis subs.  It truly serves to pull audiences even more into the story, even with their occasional redundancy, too.  Yes, even some of the re-enactment sequences are recycled in these episodes.  Luckily though, that recycling is not as common as the recycling of the episodes’ CG sequences.  Keeping this in mind, the re-enactments used to bring the stories to life prove to be another key positive to Hell Below’s home presentation.  When it is set alongside the positive of the program’s featured stories, the two do just enough to make up for the program’s negatives.  This in turn makes the program worth at least an occasional watch by history and WWII history buffs alike.

Hell Below, Smithsonian Channel’s latest venture in to the history of WWII, is an offering that is worth at least an occasional watch.  History and WWII history buffs alike will enjoy watching it every now and then thanks to its gripping stories and the re-enactments that are used to tell those stories.  The lack of an episode guide inside or outside the two-disc set’s box detracts from the program’s presentation to a point.  The same can be said of the redundancy in the stories’ CG sequences.  While the program is not perfect, the positives do just enough to make up for the negatives, thus making the program, again, worth at least an occasional watch.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other Smithsonian Channel programs is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmithsonianChan

 

 

 

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Red Reign’s New EP Will Appeal To Classic Rock Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early last December, Red Reign released its latest studio recording, a five-song self-titled EP.  The self-released record is a work that will appeal to any fan of the songs that made up rock’s mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  This applies both in regards to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The record’s opener ‘Not That Way’ solidly serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains,’ the record’s third entry, is another of its songs which supports that statement.  It will be discussed later.  The same can be said of the record’s title track.  Each song is important in its own right in showing why fans of rock from that bridge between the 1980s and 90s will enjoy this record.  The other two songs not noted here are just as important in their own right, too.  All things considered, Red Reign proves to be a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate. That is the case even with Red Reign being a more modern act.

Red Reign’s new self-titled, five-song EP is a work that any “classic rock” fan will appreciate.  That is exhibited in no small part through the record’s opener ‘Not That Way.’  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement takes listeners back to rock’s early 90s era, conjuring thoughts of Queensryche, Joe Satriani, Van Halen and other similar acts.  Drummer Sam Bendheim’s time keeping on the song provides the song even more depth as he keeps the song moving solidly forward.  Front man and guitarist Carlton McMichael even conjures thoughts of former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate through his vocal delivery.  The song’s musical arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, but is just one key part of that presentation.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content comes across as an anti-break-up song of sorts.  That is especially inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s chorus, “How things have changed/But it’s not the same/No it’s not that way/You had your chance/And you let it slip away.”  If there was any doubt left about the song’s upbeat message, the song’s second verse alleviates that doubt almost instantly as McMichael sings, “All these years have passed/And I’ve found somebody new/I never ever, ever think of you/Then you come around/Cause you thought you could/But I broke those chains so long ago/And it feels so good.”  The song’s subject goes on to sing in the verse’s back end about being heartbroken long ago and having moved on.  It is a rare message sent in songs centered on relationship break-ups.  Keeping that in mind, that positive, upbeat message does plenty to make ‘Not That Way’ stand out.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the two elements show clearly in themselves why Red Reign will appeal to “classic rock” fans.  It is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains’ serves as just as much of an example of why classic rock fans will appreciate the record.

‘Not That Way’ is a clear example of what makes Red Reign’s new self-titled EP a work that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the song’s upbeat and uplifting lyrics and its equally positive musical arrangement.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show why this record will appeal to the already noted audience.  ‘Chains’ is another example of why that audience will enjoy this new offering from the Richmond, Virginia-based rock act.  Its musical arrangement sits at the base of its notoriety.  As with the record’s opener, there is an obvious influence from Queensryche in this song’s arrangement.  That is obvious right from the song’s outset through Larry Moore’s bass line and McMichael’s bombastic guitar line.  The combination of those elements and Bendheim’s work behind the drum kit conjures thoughts of something from Queensryche circa 1986 (Rage For Order’s release year).  While the song’s musical arrangement shows a direct influence from Queensryche, its lyrical content is different yet still just as thought-provoking as the lyrical themes presented in RFO.

Whereas Red Reign’s opener was an upbeat anti-breakup song, this piece is much deeper with what seems like introspective commentary centered on someone’s efforts to move forward in life and forget the past.  That is inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s lead verse, “Black and pouring rain/I’m running through these streets where no one knows my name/Free/I won’t look back/On all these things that kept me fear/For all these years/I’m gonna break these chains/I’ll break these chains/I’ll breathe again/I’ll breathe again.”  The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion as the song’s subject sings about overcoming certain difficult situations.  Considering this and the power in the song’s musical arrangement, one can’t help but imagine the song is meant to convey a message of overcoming and moving on in life.  That is of course only this critic’s own interpretation of the song and should not necessarily be taken as gospel.  It would be interesting to learn the exact message delivered in the song.  One can only hope the message interpreted here is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Regardless, the power in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content combines to show in whole why it, too plays such an important part in Red Reign’s enjoyment by its target audiences.  It still is not the last song that serves to show why classic rock fans will appreciate this modern rock act’s new EP.  The record’s title track is one more example of what makes this record an effort that will appeal to fans of rock’s biggest age.

‘Not That Way’ and ‘Chains’ are both key compositions showing what makes Red Reign a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due to musical arrangements that harken back to the late 1980s and early 90s and lyrical themes that will both uplift and leave listeners thinking.  They are not its only key compositions.  The record’s title track proves to be just as important to its presentation as the previously discussed songs.  As with those songs, the discussion here begins with the song’s musical arrangement.  This time out, the song’s musical arrangement is more directly related to music from the early 90s. It hints at influences from Stone Temple Pilots, Brother Cane, and other slightly harder-edged bands from that era.  One could even argue that there is a hint of Van Halen circa 1994 (Balance) in this song’s arrangement thanks to its heavy guitar riffs, bass line and equally heavy vocal delivery from McMichael.  That overall arrangement is just one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical content will leave listeners thinking just as much as that presented in ‘Chains.’

The lyrical content presented in ‘Red Reign’ will leave listeners thinking (and talking) because of McMichael’s metaphorical language used throughout the song. He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Like a flash of lightning/I burn throughout the sky/Out of the way, I’m running high/I feel the evil coursing through my body and veins/Are you ready to rock this place/Lower the bridge I’m coming through/Red reign down on you.”  One can’t help but wonder what exactly McMichael is saying here.  The song’s second verse is just as intriguing as McMichael sings, “In this house of pain the storm looms large and black/My sanity is off the tracks/You know I’ve got no more home…I’ve come from grace and I can’t go back/Lower the bridge I’m coming through.”  McMichael definitely leaves listeners guessing at his message here.  It would definitely be interesting to learn that message and the story behind the song considering that uncertainty.  The very fact that the song’s lyrical content can generate just as much discussion as its musical content shows why this song is so important to Red Reign’s overall presentation.  When this is all set alongside the musical and lyrical content presented in the previously noted songs the picture painted through the songs is one of a record that, again, any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is even though the band is a more modern rock act.

Red Reign’s recently released self-titled EP is a work that classic rock fans of any age will appreciate.  It shows with its arrangements–which bridge the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s—and its thoughtful lyrical themes that a lot of time and effort was put into its creation.  That time and effort, audiences will agree, paid off.  It resulted in a record that takes audiences back to a specific era without simply being a carbon copy of songs from that era.  The end result is a record that modern record that classic rock fans will appreciate as much as any original classic rock record.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Red Reign is available online now along with all of Red Reign’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.redreignband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redreignband

 

 

 

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Fozzy Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Fozzy is returning to the road.

The band announced this week that it will hit the road this spring and summer for the “Judas Rising Tour” beginning May 5 in Virginia Beach, VA.  The band’s nearly two month-long tour will take it through the Midwest, northeast and Southeast and includes a performance a performance in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on May 7.  Kyng and Sons of Texas will serve as support throughout the tour.

The current schedule for the “Judas Rising” tour is noted below.

FOZZY – Judas Rising Tour (U.S. Dates)

May 5th – Virginia Beach, VA @ Lunatic Luau*
May 6th – Canton, GA @ The Revival**
May 7th – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion*
May 9th – Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse
May 10th – Louisville, KY @ Trixie’s Entertainment Complex
May 11th – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
May 12th – Ashwaubenon, WI @ Green Bay Distillery
May 13th – Dubuque, IA @ Courtside Sports Bar & Grill
May 14th – Somerset, WI @ Northern Invasion*
May 16th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel Concert Lounge
May 17th – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
May 18th – Patchogue, NY @ 89 North Music Venue
May 19th – Asbury Park, NJ @ House Of Independents
May 20th – Winchester, VA @ Blue Fox Billiards
May 21st – Morgantown, WV @ Mainstage Morgantown
May 23rd – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
May 24th – Joliet, IL @ The Forge
May 25th – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
May 26th – Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma*
May 27th – San Antonio, TX @ River City Rockfest*
May 28th – Dallas, TX @ BFD Festival*
June 24th – Auburn, WA @ Pain In The Grass*

* – Fozzy Only
** – No Sons of Texas

Front man Chris Jericho said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to getting back on the road after having so much time away from the road with his band mates last year.

“I’m so excited to get back on the lighted stage with Fozzy after taking all of 2016 off,” Jericho said.  “The Judas Rising tour sees a new Fozzy with new music and a killer new stage show, but with the same energy and party vibe that we’ve been bringing to our fans since day one! Come rock with us, drink a beer and show your boobs…whether you’re a girl or a guy!  Fozzy is back…don’tcha dare miss us!”

Tickets and VIP packages for the “Judas Rising Tour” can be purchased online now here.  More information on the “Judas Rising Tour” is available online now along with all of Fozzy’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fozzyrock

 

 

 

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Fire From The Gods Unveils ‘Voiceless’ Video

Courtesy: Rise Records

Fire From The Gods is giving its fans their first taste of its “new” album.

The band released the video for its latest single ‘Voiceless’ this week.  The song is taken from the band’s upcoming album Narrative Retold, which is scheduled to be released May 19 via Rise Records.

Narrative Retold is a re-issue of the band’s 2016 album Narrative, and features the newly added single along with ‘The Taste’ and an acoustic take of ‘Excuse Me.’  It can be pre-ordered online now here. The album is Fire From The Gods’ second full-length studio recording and its first for Rise Records.

Directed by Ramon Boutviseth and produced by Korn front man Jonathan Davis, the video for ‘Voiceless’ crosses footage of the band performing its song in a small studio setting with footage of fans gagged used to illustrate the song’s message.

Courtesy: Rise Records

Front man AJ Channer explained the message presented in the album’s lead single centers on the desensitization of society.  He added while he knows the message is nothing new, there is always a need to remind people they need to pull themselves out of that sense.

“‘The Voiceless’ is referring to the callousness of society,” Channer said.  “This generation is exposed to so many shocking and graphic events.  No one seems to bat an eye.  There is no compassion or care for one’s fellow man.  Violence toward each other is a normal occurrence factored into our lives these days.  Speaking up about it is nothing new, but it needs to be said.  Yes, the world will keep spinning, and life does go on, but we need to slow down and smell the roses once in a while.”

The message presented in ‘Voiceless’ runs throughout the album just in different ways with one common theme in each message as Channer explained.

“This album is the personal narrative of a minority man living in major cities and being American,” Channer said.  “There’s a socio-economic theme throughout the whole record that carries from each song to song.  It’s all about the underdog.  We’ve all had to fight for everything we have in this band.  The political climate in our country is quite racially and socially charged.  There are a lot of issues and energy people are expressing along with misguided hate and anger.  I want to channel this in music that can resonate.  This is where we come from and who we are as a band.  I want people to feel empowered by this record.  Come out of the experience knowing somebody thinks like you.”

Fire From The Gods is currently touring in support of its upcoming record.  It will be in Wichita, KS April 23, Springfield, MO on April 26 and Nashville, TN on April 27 to round out the month.  The band will open May with a show in Birmingham, AL on May 2.  Two performances in North Carolina are also included in the band’s current tour schedule on July 4 and 6 in Wilmington and Charlotte respectively.

More information on the band’s upcoming tour dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/firefromthegods

 

 

 

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