Clutch Debuts Re-Worked Take Of Its Classic Song ‘Passive Restraints’

Courtesy: New Ocean Media

Clutch has teamed with Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe for one of its classic songs.

The band debuted a re-worked version of its song ‘Passive Restraints‘ and its video Thursday. Clutch originally featured the song in its 1992 EP. The new re-worked version of the song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album Weathermaker Vault Series Volume 1, which is scheduled for release Nov. 27.

The re-worked song’s musical arrangement is everything that audiences have come to expect from Clutch. The addition of Blythe’s trademark growls and his more unique low vocal delivery adds a special touch to the song, enhancing it even more.

The video for the band’s new song was directed by David Brodsky (The Black Dahlia Murder, Papa Roach). It puts Blythe alongside Clutch’s band members in a studio setting as they perform the song.

Front man Neil Fallon talked about the song’s re-issue in a recent interview.

“Passive Restraints’ was one of the first Clutch songs I wrote lyrics to,” said Fallon. “It was a staple of Clutch sets for years but fell by the wayside as we wrote more and more songs over the years. When we toured with Lamb of God a few years back, Randy would often ask us to bring it back into rotation. We dragged our feet, and finally, we caved. And we were glad we did. The last time Clutch played Copenhell, Randy joined us on stage to perform the song. We decided to re-record it for the WM Vault Series and thought it was only fitting to have Randy join us.”

Blythe expanded on Fallon’s comments.

“When Clutch asked if I wanted to sing an older song with them during our 2016 tour together, I knew immediately which one I wanted to do- ‘Passive Restraints said Blythe. “We performed it in Milwaukee, then again a few years later at Copenhell Fest in Denmark, and I had a blast both times. I think they were a bit surprised I chose a song released in 1992, but I’ve been a fan for a long time. I’ve followed their development as a band since the early days and have enjoyed every album, but as a musician, I know sometimes it’s fun to dust off something you haven’t played in many years and see how it sounds. The song holds up to this day, and I was honored to sing on its re-release.” 

More information on Clutch’s new LP box set and more is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.pro-rock.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/clutchband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/clutchofficial

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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.

Firstborne Debuts ‘Cut The Strings’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Scorpion LTD.

Hard rock super group Firstborne debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Cut The Strings‘ Monday. The song is the latest single from the band’s self-titled EP, which was released this spring. The band debuted the record’s lead single ‘Roll The Dice‘ and its lyric video in August.

The video places the song’s lyrics over an ever-changing backdrop that uses imagery, such as a chess board, a burning city, and a skeleton dressed in a tuxedo and connected to strings like a puppet. Meanwhile, the song plays over the video, whose visualizations are used to help illustrate the message in the song’s lyrical content.

Front man Girish Pradham addressed the song’s lyrical message in a prepared statement.

“Every time there’s a force that challenges the most fundamental right of a human being – Freedom – music has always served as the voice of the common person,” he said.  “The special existence of humans in the world has music right in the heart of it.”

The musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s straight forward commentary in its lyrical content will appeal to a wide range of listeners. Its guitar arrangement harkens back to the rock sounds of the late 80s and early 90s. The time keeping from Chris Adler (ex-Lamb of God) is xpertly handled while bassist James LoMenzo adds his own touch to the song.

More information on FirstBorne’s new lyric video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.thefirstborne.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/firstborneofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thefirstborne

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FirstBorne Encourages Listeners To Seize The Day With Its New Single, Video

Courtesy: FirstBorne/Scorpion LTD

Hard rock super group Firstborne debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band — Chris Adler (ex-Lamb of God), James LoMenzo (ex-Megadeth), Girish Pradhan (Girish and the Chronicles), and “Myrone” — debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Roll The Dice‘ Friday.  The song is featured in the band’s debut self-titled EP, which was released this past Spring.

The video incorporates the song’s lyrics into a series of visual effects while the song plays over the video.  Because the imagery flashes very quickly throughout, those who are susceptible to seizures are cautioned against watching the video, but only listening to the song.

The song’s musical arrangement is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  It crosses a punk element with a straight-forward guitar rock approach for a distinct whole.  Adler’s time keeping is simple here, but that is a good thing.  It shows that he is just as talented in keeping standard time as he is with more complex polyrhythmic patterns.

LoMenzo’s work on bass works well with Adler’s time keeping to flesh out the song’s rhythm section.  Meanwhile “Myrone” shines on guitar  while Pradhan’s vocals are sharp and tight in their own way.

Adler talked about the song’s musical arrangement in a recent interview.

“’Roll the Dice’ shows Firstborne turning another unexpected turn musically that I could not have done before,” said Adler. “It’s the perfect song to drive fast with the windows down air drumming on your wheel.”

Additionally, Adler addressed the song’s lyrical theme during his interview.

“Somewhat ironically, it speaks to how those memorable moments can turn to tragedy,” he said. “We only go around this thing once and as Elvis Costello — and, bizarrely, the Meatmen — best said it back in the day, ‘Accidents will happen, you don’t know when, accidents are waiting around the bend.’ Enjoy what you have left.”

LoMenzo added to Adler’s statement, noting, “‘Roll The Dice’ is an energetic snapshot of what Firstborne is all about,” he said. “Shutting out self-doubt, shutting down fear and just going for it!”

More information on FirstBorne’s new lyric video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.thefirstborne.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thefirstborne

 

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.

Lamb of God Launches New Coffee Line

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Lamb of God is launching a new coffee line.

The band has partnered with Charlotte, NC-based Nightflyer Roastworks to create its new “Memento Mori” coffee line.  The blend’s name is taken from a song featured in the band’s recently released self-titled album.

Nightflyer Roastworks is owned by Between The Buried and Me guitarist Paul Waggoner.

More information on Lamb of God’s new album, its new album, single, news and more is available online now at:

 

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

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lambofgod

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lambofgod

 

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.

 

The Sword Launches New “Live” Series

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

Stoner rock band The Sword launched a new weekly live series this week.

The band debuted a three-song “mini-set” Thursday through Consequence of Sound.  The first performance is streaming here, as well as through CoS.

Dubbed the “Conquest of Quarantine,” the three song set was recently recorded by the band during a virtual lockdown jam session.  It marked the first time since the band went on hiatus in 2018 that the band had performed together.

One more song will debut from the band each coming week as part of the “mini-set.”

The Sword’s recent jam session was the result of a tour with Primus that was halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That tour was is now rescheduled and expected to start June 9 in Houston, TX.  It is scheduled to run through July 19 in Cincinnati, OH and feature performances in cities, such as Raleigh, NC; Essex Junction, VT, and Philadelphia, PA.

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

 

June 9 – Houston, Texas @ Revention Music Center*

June 11 – Irving, Texas @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory*

June 12 – Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at The Moody Theater*

June 13 – New Orleans, La. @ Saenger Theatre*

June 15 – Orlando, Fla. @ Hard Rock Live*

June 16 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Coca-Cola Roxy*

June 20 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre*

June 22 – Asheville, N.C. @ Exploreacheville.com Arena*

June 23 – Raleigh, N.C. @ Red Hat Amphitheater*

June 25 – Richmond, Va. @ Virginia Credit Union Live!*

June 26 – Baltimore, Md. @ MECU Pavilion*

June 27 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE*

June 29 – Essex Junction, Vt. @ Midway Law at Champlain Valley Expo*

July 1 – Westbrook, Maine @ Main Savings Pavilion at Rock Row*

July 2 – Wallingford, Ct. @ Oakdale Theatre*

July 5 – Lafayette, N.Y. @ Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards (no the Sword)

July 6 – Boston, Mass. @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*

July 8 – New York, N.Y. @ Beacon Theatre*

July 9 – Asbury Park, N.J. @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage*

July 10 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Met*

July 13 – Toronto, Ont. @ RBC Echo Beach*

July 15 – Columbus, Ohio @ Express Live! Outdoor*

July 16 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*

July 17 – Sterling Heights, Mich. @ Freedom Hill Amphitheatre*

July 19 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ PNC Pavilion*

 

In other news, The Sword released two hits collections from The Sword June 19, Chronology2006 – 2018 and Conquest of Kingdoms.  Chronology2006 – 2018 is a three-CD set features the band’s biggest hits, fan favorites, rarities and previously unreleased songs.  Its track count totals 52 (yes, 52) songs.  Additionally it features liner notes penned by the band’s members and some other well-known names — Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Mark Morton (Lamb of God) and Neil Fallon (Clutch).

Conquest of Kingdoms is a three-LP vinyl set that features previously unreleased songs, b-sides, oddities and live performances.  Its track listing totals 30 songs.

More information on The Sword’s new “mini-set,” rescheduled live dates and more is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.theswordofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Thesword

 

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.

 

Jinjer, Judas Priest Added to Knotfest.com Live Streaming Concert Series

Cosa Nostra PR

Knotfest.com is continuing its live streaming concert series this month with two more concerts.

Up first in this month’s schedule of live shows is Jinjer’s March 5, 2020 show held at Max Watts in Melbourne, Australia.  Now audiences will get to see that performance through Knotfest.com at 5 p.m. ET July 9.

The second of this month’s live streaming shows through knotfest.com is Judas Priest’s full concert recording, Battle Cry, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray March 25, 2016 through Epic Records.  The concert featured in the recording was originally recorded on Aug. 1, 2015 at the annual Wacken Open Air Festival.

The set list that is featured in Battle Cry doesn’t just focus on the band’s then most recent album Redeemer of Souls.  Instead the band attempts to cover as much of its expansive body of work as possible over the course of its ninety minute run time.

Judas Priest’s performance is scheduled to stream 3 p.m ET on July 17 through knotfest.com.

Knotfest.com’s ongoing concert series has already featured performances from Slipknot, Lamb of God, Trivium, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Anthrax, Kreator, King Diamond, Carnifex, Suffocation, Suicide Silence, and In Flames.  The concerts have helped raise money to charities that help with COVID-19 relief efforts.

More information on Knotfet.com’s concert series is available online along with all of the latest Knotfest.com news at:

 

Website: http://Knotfest.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/knotfest

 

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.

 

Lamb of God Debuts ‘Gears’ Video, ‘Reality Bath’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Epic Records

Lamb of God has unveiled the video for its latest single.

The band debuted the video for its song ‘Gears‘ Friday.  The song is the sixth single from the band’s brand new 10-song self-titled album, which hit stores today. It comes alongside the premiere of the lyric video for another of the album’s songs, ‘Reality Bath,’ which addresses the mass school shootings that have happened nationwide.

The video for ‘Gears’ places the band members in a fenced in area that looks like an octagonal, almost UFC type ring and crosses that with footage of two professional men buying everything they can in order to feel complete.  The imagery is meant to translate the song’s message about consumerism and how companies control people.  The song’s musical arrangement is a sound that will appeal to fans of Lamb of God’s classic album As The Palaces Burn.

On a side note, front man Randy Blythe is wearing a shirt with the name En Esch printed along with a skull on a black backdrop.  En Esch just recently worked on Blue Eyed Christ’s new single ‘World on Fire,’ which is the title track from that act’s latest album.  Interestingly, ‘World on Fire’ is also a song whose lyrical content focuses on materialism and the impact thereof, so there is a direct correlation there.

Getting back to the topic at hand, ‘Gears,’ as noted, is just the latest single from Lamb of God to get a video treatment.  The band also premiered the lyric video for the song ‘Reality Bath’ today, also as noted.

Those two songs were preceded by the debuts of videos for ‘Routes,’ ‘New Colossal Hate,’ ‘Memento Mori’ and ‘Checkmate.’  All of the band’s videos are streaming through its official YouTube channel.

Lamb of God was produced by Josh Wilbur (Soulfly, Hatebreed, Megadeth, Gojira), and features guest appearances from the likes of Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta and Testament front man Chuck Billy.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

Lamb Of God tracklisting:
1. Memento Mori
2. Checkmate
3. Gears
4. Reality Bath
5. New Colossal Hate
6. Resurrection Man
7. Poison Dream (feat. Jamey Jasta)
8. Routes (feat. Chuck Billy)
9. Bloodshot Eyes
10. On The Hook

 

More information on Lamb of God’s new singles, album, upcoming live dates, news and more is available online now at:

 

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

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lambofgod

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lambofgod

 

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.

 

 

Lamb Of God’s Self-Titled LP Lives Up To Expectations And Then Some

Courtesy: Epic Records

Lamb of God is one of the leading names in the metal and hard rock communities today.  The band did not earn that title overnight, either.  It took more than 25 years, nine albums and lots of touring around the world.  With the forthcoming release of its 10th overall album – and eighth under the Lamb of God moniker (the band was previously known as Burn the Priest, and has released two records under that name) – the band cements its reputation even more so.  The 10-song record is some of the band’s best work to date.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content does its own part to show what makes this record so strong.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production and mixing put the final touch to its presentation.  Together with the noted content, all three elements make the album’s overall presentation such that it easily makes a place for itself among this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Lamb of God’s forthcoming self-titled album is one of the most anticipated hard rock and metal albums of this year.  The album lives up to expectations, too, as is evidenced in part through the record’s musical arrangements.  From beginning to end, this album’s musical content throws back to the sounds of the band’s 2003 breakout album As The Palaces Burn.  There is even some growth exhibited in the album in ‘Bloodshot Eyes.’  That song actually presents more of a melodic metal sound than the full-throttle, chainsaw-sharp sounds for which the band has come to be known throughout its albums.  Front man Randy Blythe even goes so far as to provide some actual clean vocals in the song alongside his trademark screams.  Meanwhile, the team of guitarists Willie Adler, Mark Morton and bassist John Campbell create the noted melodic hard rock sound that is a welcome change of pace here.  New drummer Art Cruz (Prong, Winds of Plague) adds his own distinct touch to the song, showing that he can play slow and controlled just as easily as he can while keeping time in the album’s more up-tempo works.  The whole makes this song one of the album’s most engaging songs, but definitely not its only notable addition to Lamb of God.  Campbell’s subtle bass intro in ‘Reality Bath’ does well to help set the searing tone that is revealed in the rest of the song.  It does that because of how contradictory it is to the sound in the rest of the song’s arrangement.  It serves as a sort of precursor or calm before the storm that is unleashed throughout the rest of the song.  That storm is intense, too.  Blythe’s vocal delivery gives audiences something rare as it feels and sounds so more focused than ever.  Speaking of focus, the band’s ability to switch so seamlessly between its trademark thrash/groove sound to the more hardcore sound of Hatebreed when that band’s front man Jamey Jasta joins in on ‘Poison Dream’ serves as another example of how focused the band is on this album. What has led the band to gel so well throughout this record is anyone’s guess.  Maybe it is the fact that Morton has recently been allowed to spread his own creative wings through his own solo recordings – Anasthetic and Ether.  Maybe that allowed him to come into the recording sessions with a clearer and more open mind.  Maybe it is that front man randy Blythe recently got sober, as is discussed in an interview that he recently conducted with Revolver magazine.  Audiences can read that whole interview here.  Maybe it is something else or even a combination of those elements and something else.  Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that the musical content featured throughout Lamb of God’s 45-minute run time builds a solid foundation for the record’s presentation.  It is just one of the elements that makes this record so appealing.  The record’s lyrical themes play into the album’s appeal, too.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Lamb of God largely address issues going on with society the world over.  Blythe addressed this, too in his noted interview with Revolver magazine.  He was cited late in the interview as saying that getting sober played directly into his approach to songwriting this time out.  Audiences will be left to read his comments for themselves, but the short and simple of his statement is that in getting sober, he had a clearer mind and realized the importance in the impact of the band’s music, so he took a more active approach to writing each song.  The result of his focus is clear from beginning to end.  ‘Gears’ is just one example of the positive payoff of Blythe’s sobriety.  He writes in this song’s lead verse and chorus, “You suffer from a manufactured sickness and envy by design/Pre-calculated status and patterns of desire/ Accumulation and adoration/Built to feed your ostentation/Perpetually unsatisfied, but you never question why/So hang it on the wall of your golden cage/Tell yourself that it means something/Empty actions to fill the time/Commercial gods keep you in line/Industry and empire thrive/While you’re dying for always more.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Your endless hunger automated/Industry defined/A systematic impulse, parametric lines/Subjugation and degradation the blueprint to your annihilation/You’re assets personified, a product of the times,” before eventually adding in the song’s third and final verse, “So you can’t take it with you but you don’t use it now/A shallow life to crush you, drive you into the ground/So scared to lose the nothings you acquire/Everything must fall, bones on a pyre.”  This takes on the issues of consumerism and social media, and how people allow themselves to be turned into essentially puppets for corporations while also fulfilling their own greedy natures.  Sure, it’s hardly the first time that any act has taken on such matters, but Lamb of God has given the topic a new twist in this case that is certain to resonate and stick with audiences.

‘New Colossal Hate’ is another example of the importance of this record’s lyrical themes.  The song addresses the mistreatment of people from ethnic minorities.  This matter has become a hot-button topic ever since Donald Trump rose to power.  His divisive comments about ethnic minority populations have fueled so much division and even criminal activity by white nationalist groups.  Now Blythe has taken on the matter, writing in the song’s lead verse, “The mother of exiles stands there weeping/As her children tear themselves apart/Knives are out, her thoughts are bleeding Blood runs down her welcoming arms/Her feral brood has turned neglectful/The chains she broke are rusting closed/Imprisoned lightning burns forgetful/Spoiled blind to the light that she holds/Lash the tired and kill the poor/The huddled masses ram the door.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Like brazen giants with conquering limbs/The herd manifesting all that she despised/Childish amnesia born of privilege/Selfish mob commits matricide/Her mild gaze gone stern, fire in her eyes/Watching her dreams turn into dust The beacon dropped, her hand raised up to strike/Cast them homeless into the tempest/Lash the tired and kill the poor/The coddled masses slam the golden door.”  The song’s third verse is the most telling in the noted statement as Blythe writes, closing out the song, “The melting pot is melting down/A pool of slag on poisoned ground/Choking from the venom’s sting/Pull the fangs, let freedom ring.”  That ironic statement at the end, “Let freedom ring” is a powerful final comment.  It heightens the sense of anger expressed throughout the rest of the song as it addresses the vile, hateful behavior of so many who want to keep ethnic minorities from coming to America.  It is yet another way in which the record’s lyrical themes prove the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  ‘On The Hook,’ the record’s finale, is yet another way in which the album’s lyrical themes prove so important to the album’s presentation.

‘On the Hook’ is a direct statement about America’s opioid epidemic.  It is a damning indictment of the legal drug industry, pointing out its role in people becoming addicted to drugs.  Blythe also addresses this in his interview with Revolver magazine, noting the song’s inspiration was something personal.  The revelation that he makes here is an eye-opener to say the very least.  He opens the song by writing, “A dead silver spoon with needles in his skin/Rode a pale horse down from Afghanistan/Tears in the suburbs/Mothers praying for their damned/Death has crept into their zone of the promised land/But just before each plague, the clearest prophecies/Pandora’s box in backwoods pharmacies/A contract to die.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Narcotic economics for the miner’s sons/The seams went bust so long ago/With nowhere else to turn/Strip mine the veins, drill the abscess dry/Incentives for the architects of their genocide/We’ve seen this all before in a different shade/The Dark Alliance shifts to the modern age/A contract to die.”  The song’s most damning statement comes again here in its third verse, in which Blythe writes, Hippocratic hypocrites/Breaking oaths and cashing checks/Wrote an oceans worth of ink/Scripting a nation’s disease/A systematic business plan/To broker death increase demand/So flood the ghetto and starve the hills/Kill them all with crack and pills/Kill them all/Vietnam/Iran Contra/Park Avenue/Oxycontin.”  This is a powerful overall statement that audiences will not soon forget.  Along with Psycle’s song ‘Last Chance for the Saints,’ Lamb of God’s work becomes hopefully just the latest in what is hopefully a growing trend of acts addressing the negative impact of the legalized drug industry.  Regardless, it can be said that it is one more hard-hitting example of what makes this record’s lyrical themes so important.  Taking it into consideration along with the other lyrical themes noted here and those in the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album’s lyrical content proves itself just as important as the LP’s musical content.  While the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively and completely ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment, they are only a portion of what makes the record a strong new offering from Lamb of God.  The album’s mixing and production put the final touch to its presentation.

The production and mixing that went into Lamb of God’s presentation is noteworthy in that so much is going on in each song.  Between Blythe’s screams, Cruz’s powerhouse drumming, Morton and Adler’s double attack and Campbell’s low-end, each band member has something to bring in each song.  Whether in the more radio-ready aggro-rock styling of ‘Bloodshot Eyes,’ the intense ‘Reality Bath,’ which does an admirable job of expressing America’s frustration over all of the recent mass shootings at schools nationwide, the equally intense ‘Poison Dream’ or the arrangements in any of the album’s other songs, the fact remains that each song is expertly produced and mixed.  The fire burns bright in each arrangement, while also allowing each part to show why each said work has such powerful impact.  Producer Josh Wilbur and others involved in this process are to be commended in their own right for this result.  Keeping in mind the positive result of the record’s production and mixing, that element is what makes the record’s arrangements hit as hard as they do.  It is what leads the lyrics and music to come together and translate as well as they do.  To that end, it puts the finishing touch to this record and makes it a must hear for Lamb of God’s fans and metal/hard rock fans alike.  It all comes together to make Lamb of God one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Lamb of God’s forthcoming self-titled album is an impressive new offering from the band.  It is a work whose musical arrangements take audiences back in time and whose lyrical themes do their own part to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  The record’s production and mixing put the final touch to its presentation by balancing everything out and in turn making the album that much more appealing.  Each noted item is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make Lamb of God, without argument, one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Epic Records.  Pre-orders are open now for Lamb of God.

More information on Lamb of God’s new album, its new album, single, news and more is available online now at:

 

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

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lambofgod

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lambofgod

 

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.

Mark Morton Shines Again On His Second Solo Record

Courtesy: Rise Records

When Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton released his debut solo album Anasthetic last March through Spinefarm Records, he more than showed the expanse of his musical abilities and interests.  The record, which joined Morton with a number of well-known names, such as the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and ex Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, showed Morton as a truly original and creative musician, not just one of the members of Lamb of God.  He followed up that successful offering this past January with his debut solo EP Ether.  The five-song EP, released through Rise Records, will get a second life of sorts June 19 when it is released on vinyl through Rise Records.  Regardless of whether one prefers vinyl, CD or even digital, the fact of the matter remains that Ether is a positive follow-up to Anasthetic.  That is due to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  Its penultimate song ‘Love My Enemy’ is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  The EP’s opener ‘All I Had to Lose’ is another way in which Ether shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  Its follow-up ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which Ether shows its strength.  Together with the covers of The Black Crowes’ ‘She Talks To Angels’ and of Pearl Jam’s ‘Black,’ ‘The Fight’ and the other noted songs make Ether a wholly enjoyable follow-up to Anasthetic and one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Mark Morton’s debut EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut 2019 album Anasthetic.  Much with that album, this EP shows once again why he is more than just a member of Lamb of God, but rather a talented, creative musician in his own right.  That is evidenced in part through the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Love My Enemy.’  The song, which features vocals by Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Blood Has Been Shed, Light The Torch), presents an interesting musical arrangement.  The verses conjure thoughts of Alice in Chains, what with the layered vocal effect and the subdued guitar and drum lines.  The chorus however, boasts more of an Alter Bridge type of sound as the guitars and vocals step up.  The song’s bass line adds its own touch to the whole to make the work’s composition quite engaging and entertaining in its own right.  What is important to note here is the pairing of that duality in the song’s arrangement and its connection to the emotion and message in the song’s lyrical theme.  The song’s lyrical theme serves to make that reason for that juxtaposition clear.

Jones sings in the song’s lead verse, “Open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart/It’s alright/Eternity can die today/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We can greet the end alone/Sorrow needs an empty home/It’s alright/Years and pain can fade away/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  In the song’s third and final verse, “Jones sings, “There’s no replacing/The time we’re wasting.”  These verses are deeply introspective, needless to say.  That final verse is relatively clear, as it makes a statement about making the most of the time that we have.  The first and second verses meanwhile will generate their own hare of interest.  Maybe the lead statement of “open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart” is a statement connected to the note of the wasted time.  It’s as if it is making a note about open wounds being a failure from the beginning.  The statement in the second verse years and pain being able to fade away seems to perhaps be a statement of hope, that the past can be just that.  This is of course all this critic’s own interpretation.  The song’s chorus adds even more impact to the song, as it comes across as perhaps someone battling with him/herself.  The chorus states, “I can’t live on memories/I can’ love my enemy/We cannot repair the past/A broken heart is made of glass/No, I can’t live on memories.”  This seems like someone who is torn with trying to overcome the thoughts of the past and look to the future.  It would explain why the song’s musical arrangement is so much more powerful in the chorus than the verses.  It would serve to illustrate the subject’s heightened emotion in this moment.  This leads the song’s more contemplative counter to those heightened emotions to make more sense along with its musical accompaniment.  Again this is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being correct, though.  Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical content proves just as important as its musical content.  All things considered, the song in whole, with its engaging musical and lyrical content shows well on its own, why Ether is another strong offering from Mark Morton.  It is just one of the songs that serves to exhibit that strength.  ‘All I Had to Lose’ does its own part to keep listeners’ ears and minds.

‘All I Had to Lose’ is important to note because it presents its own unique identity separate from that of ‘Love My Enemy’ and the EP’s other songs.  The song’s fully acoustic arrangement is a radio ready composition that will connect easily to audiences.  The addition of Sons of Texas front man Mark Morales’ vocal delivery adds to that commercial viability for the opus.  The combination of those elements makes the song in whole a work that is comparable to works from so many mainstream rock bands.  The appeal created through the song’s musical arrangement will keep listeners engaged, and in turn, paying attention to the song’s equally engaging lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘All I Had to Lose’ generates its own engagement because of its own contemplative nature.  Morales sings in the song’s lead verse, “We were reckless for a season, now/Restless with a reason/I can’t tell/If we were victims of the vices/Or addicted to the crisis/Lived through hell.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We laid with it/Dead and dying/Told ‘em all we were just trying/To be alive/Closed our eyes/I know that we could leave/The lies we didn’t want to leave behind.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Watched the colors fade away/Reached out by the sun/left her for another day/Prayed it would never come.”  The precise concept here is not clear at least to this critic.  It comes across as something of a statement about perhaps someone taking things for granted in life.  Whether that is in relation to a personal relationship or something else is up for discussion.  It would be interesting to learn the exact relation of that seeming message.  That Morales sings in the song’s chorus, “And when you came up for breath/I knew there wasn’t nothing left to do but choose/And everything I lost/Wasn’t much compared to all I had to lose” adds to the argument that the song’s lyrical theme is a personal message about taking for granted what one has in life.  Again, what exactly was being taken for granted – whether it be a personal relationship or something else – is something that is left for interpretation.  Either way, the fact that this seems to be the message makes the song’s musical content couple well with this half of the song’s content.  Taking everything noted here into account, the whole of the song shows even more why Ether will keep listeners engaged from start to end.  It is just one more way in which Ether proves its appeal.  ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which the EP shows its strength.

‘The Fight’ is an interesting addition to Ether.  That is due in part to its overall musical arrangement.  This composition is so starkly opposite of any of the other songs featured in this record.  The verses are distinctly subtle, but not necessarily reserved per say.  There is a certain Sevendust-esque sense to the song from the band’s more recent works, in listening closely to the arrangement.  The chorus meanwhile pack a little bit more of a punch, but it’s not a knockout punch.  Even in this case, there is a certain amount of control.  It makes for a very interesting listen.  It is not necessarily a radio ready work, but still is worth hearing.  That unique arrangement couples well with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme, which comes across as one of those songs about someone driving along and having enough time to contemplate a lot of life matters.

Moontooth front man John Carbone provides the vocals for this song.  His vocal delivery is comparable to that of Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thundering down the cold, dark desert road/It ain’t the miles you’re looking at/Ain’t the pavement you see/But its ghost/And all the trials that lay ahead/Yeah, it becomes your only friend.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Rumbling ground/It shakes from the load/the burden that you live to bear/Deafening sound, it rings in your soul/Make you forget what brought you here/Now the ending ain’t so clear.”  While the song’s musical arrangement doesn’t quite do so, this portion of the song leaves one making comparisons to Bob Seger’s hit song ‘Turn The Page.’  It seems to have that same kind of lyrical approach; someone on the road, lots of thoughts on the mind, etc. etc. etc.  It is an interesting sort of update, although it likely was not intended.  The comparison is strengthened even more as Carbone sings in the song’s chorus, “When you live for the fight for too long/You burn for the bloody way out/But the only hope for a victory/Is to learn to lay it down.”  It’s as if he is saying, even with all the thinking and things on a person’s mind, a person may want a certain outcome, but the outcome we want may not always be the best outcome.  Again, this is all this critic’s interpretation.   Hopefully it is in the proverbial ballpark.  That aside, all of this is sure to generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its accompanying musical content, the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s musical and lyrical content shows once more why Ether succeeds overall.  Together with the two covers that join this work and the EP’s two other originals, the record overall proves itself to be a complete work and a complete success for Morton and company.

Mark Morton’s recently released EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut solo album Anasthetic (2019).  That is because it continues to exhibit Morton’s talents as more than just another metal guitarist, but a widely-versed musician and songwriter.  That is evidenced through all three of the record’s original works and its two covers.  The musical and lyrical content in each original as well as the adaptation of the covers do well to support those statements.  All things considered, Ether can be considered in whole, to be one of this year’s top new EPs.

More information on Ether is available online now along with all of Mark Morton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://markmortonmusic.com

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Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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