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

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/markmortonmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mark Morton Plots Release Of New EP, ‘Ether’

Courtesy: Rise Records/BMG

Mark Morton has another record on the way.

Morton, who spends most of his time with metal outfit Lamb of God, is scheduled to release his new EP Ether in January through Rise Records/BMG. The EP’s release date will be announced soon. The five-track record’s lead single ‘All I Had To Lose,’ which features a guest appearance by Mark Morales (Sons of Texas) is scheduled to debut Jan. 10.

The EP’s release comes almost a year after the release of his solo debut Anasthetic, which was released March 1 through Spinefarm Records.

Morton talked about the EP’s impending release in a recent interview.

“I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of my new, five-song EP Ether on Rise Records!,” he said.  “Once again I’ve had the great pleasure of working with some amazingly talented artists and friends to assemble this collection of tunes, all of which feature a strong acoustic guitar component.  Inspired by the acoustic sets I had the opportunity to perform last spring and summer in support of Anasthetic, I began writing some new songs to reflect that more mellow vibe.  I’m stoked with the results and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve been putting together.  I’ll be debuting these tunes on my upcoming U.K. acoustic tour, so you can hear them live before they’re released anywhere else!”

Morton also discussed working with Morales and the EP’s other guests — Lizzy Hale, John Carbone and Howard Jones — on the EP.

“I continue to be honored to have the chance to work with so many incredibly talented people and I remain beyond grateful to the fans that have come alongwith me and supported these projects.  Thanks so much, everyone!”

Ether‘s track listing is noted below.  The record was produced by Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Soulfly, Gojira).

Ether tracklisting:
1. All I Had To Lose (featuring Mark Morales)
2. The Fight (featuring John Carbone)
3. She Talks To Angels (featuring Lzzy Hale)
4. Love My Enemy (featuring Howard Jones)
5. Black (featuring Mark Morales)

The U.K. dates that Morton mentioned are listed below.

MARK MORTON UK tour dates:
1/8 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
1/9 – Manchester, UK @ Academy 3
1/10 – Glasgow, UK @ Cathouse
1/11 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy 2
1/12 – London, UK @ Camden Underworld

More information on Morton’s new EP, tour dates and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://markmortonmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/markmortonmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

Ice Nine Kills Debuts Video for ‘Stabbing In The Dark’ Acoustic Take

Ice Nine Kills debuted the video for its acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ this week.

The band debuted the video Friday for the song, which is featured on the upcoming re-issue of the band’s 2018 album The Silver Scream.  The video features a family watching the original video for ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ on a black and white television in a very 1950s living room setting.

Courtesy: Fearless Records

The acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ features guest vocals from Trivium front man Matt Heafy.  Heafy talked about joining Ice Nine Kills for the recording during a recent interview, saying how happy he was to take part in the song’s re-imagining.

“Ice Nine Kills is one of the absolute best bands on the planet right now,” he said.  “With their blend of styles and sounds and unique imagery, they’ve crafted a world entirely their own.  Being such a big fan myself, I did an acoustic cover of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ on my Twitch live one day.  Next thing I knew, INK checked it out and dug it — which I was honored to hear.  I can’t wait till the world hears this newly re-imagined version of this incredible song.  Watch as INK takes the world over.  Mark my words.”

INK front man Spencer Charnas responded to Heafy’s comments with his own positive remarks in a separate interview.

“We were devilishly delighted to find out that Matt was a fan of INK,” he said.  “When we heard his chill-inducing cover of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’, we knew right then and there that we had to collaborate with him.”

He added, “We have enormous respect for Matt’s abilities, and are honored to have him be a part of this spooky, almost folk-like rendition of the song.  He slaughtered this performance, and we can’t wait wait for people to hear it during our favorite month of the year.”

INK’s acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ with Matt Heafy is just one of the acoustic works featured in the band’s upcoming re-issue of The Silver Scream.  The re-issue will also feature an acoustic performance of the song ‘A Grave Mistake,’ which the band recorded live on Sirius XM and a new take of ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ which features the original Jason actor Ari Lehman.

The re-issue’s track listing is noted below.

THE SILVER SCREAM: FINAL CUT album will include the following track listing:
1. The American Nightmare
2. Thank God It’s Friday
3. Stabbing In The Dark
4. Savages
5. The Jig Is Up (ft. Randy Strohmeyer of Finch)
6. A Grave Mistake
7. Rocking The Boat (ft. Jeremy Schwartz)
8. Enjoy Your Slay (ft. Sam Kubrick)
9. Freak Flag
10. The World in My Hands (ft. Tony Lovato of Mest)
11. Merry Axe-mas
12. Love Bites (ft. Chelsea Talmadge, Stranger Things)
13. IT Is The End (ft. JR Wasilewski & Buddy Schaub of Less Than Jake and Will Salazar of Fenix TX)
14. Your Number’s Up
15. Thriller (Michael Jackson cover)
16. A Grave Mistake (Live from SiriusXM)
17. Stabbing In The Dark (Acoustic ft. Matt Heafy)
18. SAVAGES (Acoustic)
19. Thank God It’s Friday (Acoustic ft. Ari Lehman)

The original release of The Silver Scream spawned the singles and videos for ‘The American Nightmare,’ ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in The Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake,’ ‘IT Is The End,’ ‘Enjoy Your Slay,’ ‘Merry Axe-Mas‘ and ‘Savages.’

 

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

Ice Nine Kills is preparing to launch a new North American tour in support of The Silver Scream‘s forthcoming re-issue.  The tour is scheduled to launch Oct. 29 in Cleveland, OH and to run through Dec. 1 in New York.  It also features performances in cities, such as Phoenix, AZ; Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO.

Fit For A King, Awake At Last, Light The Torch and Make Them Suffer will serve as support for the tour.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

DATE
CITY
VENUE
Tue
10/29
Cleveland, OH
House of Blues *
Sat
11/2
Milwaukee, WI
The Rave Club *
Sun
11/3
Minneapolis, MN
Varsity Theater *
Mon
11/4
Estes Park, CO
The Stanley Hotel
Tue
11/5
Denver, CO
Summit Music Hall *
Wed
11/6
Salt Lake City, UT
The Depot *
Fri
11/8
Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Bowl *
Sat
11/9
Los Angeles, CA
Belasco Theater *
Sun
11/10
Phoenix, AZ
The Van Buren *
Tue
11/12
Dallas, TX
House of Blues *
Wed
11/13
Houston, TX
House of Blues *
Thu
11/14
San Antonio, TX
Aztec Theater *
Sat
11/16
Pensacola, FL
Vinyl Music Hall *
Sun
11/17
Tampa, FL
Ritz Ybor *
Mon
11/18
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Revolution Live *
Wed
11/20
Atlanta, GA
Buckhead Theater *
Thu
11/21
Charlotte, NC
The Underground – Fillmore *
Fri
11/22
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Soundstage *
Sat
11/23
Pittsburgh, PA
Roxian Theater *
Mon
11/25
Philadelphia, PA
Theater of Living Arts *
Tue
11/26
Detroit, MI
St. Andrews Hall *
Wed
11/27
Chicago, IL
House of Blues *
Sat
11/30
Worcester, MA
The Palladium *
Sun
12/1
New York, NY
Webster Hall *
* = SiriusXM Octane Presents “Octane Accelerator Tour” with Fit For a King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer & Awake At Last

More information on Ice Nine Kills’ tour is available online now along with more information on the band’s upcoming re-issue of The Silver Scream and the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iceninekills

 

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.

INK Debuts ‘IT Is The End’ Video; Launches North American Tour

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Ice Nine Kills debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘IT Is The End‘ Tuesday.  The video, directed by Daniel Hourihan, is the finale in a series of videos and singles, all of which have come from the band’s 2018 album The Silver Scream and features appearances from members of Fenix TX and Less Than Jake.

The band’s video series from  The Silver Scream also features videos for the songs ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in the Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake‘ and ‘The American Nightmare.’

Most recently, the band debuted the video for the song ‘Savages,’ also taken from The Silver Scream, as well as ‘Enjoy Your Slay‘ and ‘Merry Axe-mas.’

The band is scheduled to re-issue The Silver Scream Oct. 25 in an expanded package that features a new cover song, four acoustic takes of songs from the album and a new song that pays tribute to director Wes Craven’s hit slasher flick Scream.

 

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

INK opens its new North American tour run tonight in Cleveland, OH.  The tour, which also will feature performances from Fit For A King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer, and Awake At Last, is scheduled to run through Dec. 1 in New York, NY.  The tour’s schedule is noted below

ICE NINE KILLS upcoming tour dates are as follows:
DATE
CITY
VENUE
Tue
10/29
Cleveland, OH
House of Blues *
Sat
11/2
Milwaukee, WI
The Rave Club *
Sun
11/3
Minneapolis, MN
Varsity Theater *
Mon
11/4
Estes Park, CO
The Stanley Hotel
Tue
11/5
Denver, CO
Summit Music Hall *
Wed
11/6
Salt Lake City, UT
The Depot *
Fri
11/8
Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Bowl *
Sat
11/9
Los Angeles, CA
Belasco Theater *
Sun
11/10
Phoenix, AZ
The Van Buren *
Tue
11/12
Dallas, TX
House of Blues *
Wed
11/13
Houston, TX
House of Blues *
Thu
11/14
San Antonio, TX
Aztec Theater *
Sat
11/16
Pensacola, FL
Vinyl Music Hall *
Sun
11/17
Tampa, FL
Ritz Ybor *
Mon
11/18
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Revolution Live *
Wed
11/20
Atlanta, GA
Buckhead Theater *
Thu
11/21
Charlotte, NC
The Underground – Fillmore *
Fri
11/22
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Soundstage *
Sat
11/23
Pittsburgh, PA
Roxian Theater *
Mon
11/25
Philadelphia, PA
Theater of Living Arts *
Tue
11/26
Detroit, MI
St. Andrews Hall *
Wed
11/27
Chicago, IL
House of Blues *
Sat
11/30
Worcester, MA
The Palladium *
Sun
12/1
New York, NY
Webster Hall *
* = SiriusXM Octane Presents “Octane Accelerator Tour” with Fit For a King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer & Awake At Last

More information on the band’s upcoming North American tour, its new singles and videos and all of its latest news is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iceninekills

 

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.

Ice Nine Kills Debuts ‘Savages’ Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Ice Nine Kills debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Savages‘ Tuesday.  The song is taken from the band’s latest album The Silver Scream (2018).

The video features footage of the band performing its new single and crosses that footage with footage of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as the song was inspired by the movie.  It is just one of the movies that inspired the album’s works.  The album in whole is composed of songs inspired by famous horror movies, such as The ShiningJaws and It.

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

‘Savages’ is just the latest single from The Silver Scream to receive the video treatment. The album has also produced the singles ‘The American Nightmare,’ ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in the Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake‘ ‘Enjoy Your Slay‘ and ‘Merry Axe-mas.’

While the band debuted the video for its new single this week, it also recently launched a new campaign to promote the next single from its album, the It-inspired ‘IT Is The End.’  The campaign sent fans on a scavenger hunt to find a red balloon.  The first five people to reach each location in the hunt received special prizes and a sneak peek of the video, which is planned for its debut soon.

 

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

Ice Nine Kills is in the midst of the European leg of its tour in support of The Silver Scream.  The band will return to North America for another stretch of dates across America beginning Oct. 29 in Cleveland, OH.  The upcoming North American tour is scheduled to run through Dec. 1 in New York, NY and to feature performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles, CA and Salt Lake City, UT.

Fit For A King will join the tour as a special guest.  Awake At Last, Make Them Suffer and Light The Torch will serve as support throughout the tour.

More information on the band’s upcoming North American tour, its new singles and videos and all of its latest news is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iceninekills

 

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.