Zakk Wylde Added To 2019 Experience Hendrix Tour Lineup

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC

The annual experience Hendrix tour added another big name to its lineup this week.

Concert organizers announced this week that Zakk Wylde has joined this year’s nationwide celebration of Jimi Hendrix.  The announcement was made in a news release sent Friday from Experience Hendrix LLC.

Wylde will join artists, such as Joe Satriani (who has previously taken part in the annual tour), blues legend Taj Mahal and Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine for this year’s tour.  This is not the first time that Wylde has taken part in the Experience Hendrix tour, having first taken part in the tour in 2014.  He has appeared on the tour many times since then.

Wylde talked about joining the tour again in a recent interview.

“Hendrix, you can pick out a mile away,” Wylde said.  “His sound, his execution — he was about as unique as it gets.  I’m a fan of all the guys on the tour.  I’m just excited to get out there and hang around the whole thing.  Just watching them play and jammin’ with them.”

This year’s Experience Hendrix tour is scheduled to start on March 3 in Pompano Beach, FL and to run through Apr. 6 in Wallingford, CT.  The tour features performances in cities, such as Raleigh, NC; Washington, D.C. and Albany, NY.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

2019 Experience Hendrix Tour 

Mar 3                      Pompano Beach, FL – Pompano Beach Amphitheater*

Mar 4                      Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall*

Mar 5                      Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts*

Mar 6                      Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre

Mar 8                      North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Mar 9                      Atlanta, GA – The Fox Theatre-Atlanta*

Mar 10                    Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn Symphony Center*

Mar 11                    Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center*

Mar 12                    Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theater*

Mar 14                    Raleigh, NC – Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts*

Mar 15                    Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium*

Mar 16                    Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre*

Mar 17                    Cincinnati, OH – The Taft Theatre*

Mar 19                    Louisville, KY – Louisville Palace Theatre*

Mar 20                    Madison, WI – Overture Center for the Arts*

Mar 21                    Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater*

Mar 22                    Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre*

Mar 23                    Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre*

Mar 24                    Charleston, WV – The Clay Center

Mar 26                    Washington, DC – Warner Theatre

Mar 27                    Bensalem, PA – Xcite Center at Parx Casino

Mar 28                    Westbury, NY – Theatre At Westbury

Mar 29                    Newark, NJ – New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Mar 30                    Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino

Apr 1                       Syracuse, NY – Landmark Theatre for the Performing Arts

Apr 2                       Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Center for the Arts

Apr 3                       Albany, NY – Palace Theatre

Apr 4                       Lowell, MA – Lowell Memorial Auditorium

Apr 5                       New Bedford, MA – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

Apr 6                       Wallingford, CT – Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre

*dates with Zakk Wylde

More information on this year’s Experience Hendrix tour is available online now along with all of the tour’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.experiencehendrixtour.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jimihendrix

 

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‘The Face of Fear’ Shows Artillery Still Has Plenty Of Ammunition

Courtesy: Metal Blade Recprds

It’s hard to believe, but in a little more than a month, 2018 will officially over, and 2019 will be here.  It goes without saying that this year has been another impressive one for the metal community, with powerful new releases from acts, such as Soulfly, Tesseract and Nonpoint just to name a few acts.  Though the year is almost over, the year’s stream of new releases is not yet over.  Veteran metal outfit Artillery released its latest album The Face of Fear on Nov. 16, and it will make critics’ decisions on their year-ender lists that much more difficult.  That is because the Danish band’s ninth full-length studio recording’s far-reaching appeal among thrash and metal fans alike.  This is evidenced right from the album’s outset in its opener/lead/title single.  ‘Sworn Utopia’ does just as much as the album’s title track to support that statement, and will be discussed shortly.  Much the same can be said of ‘Preaching To The Converted,’ which will also be discussed later.  Each song shows in its own way, what makes The Face of Fear yet another strong addition to this year’s already outstanding list of new hard rock and metal albums.  When they are considered along with the album’s other songs not noted here, the whole of the record’s 11-song, 45-minute a work that every thrash and metal purist will appreciate.

Artillery’s latest full-length studio recording, The Face of Fear continues what is for the veteran Danish metal outfit, a long-running tradition of success.  It is a work that will appeal to a wide range of thrash and metal purists from the band’s homeland to America and beyond.  That is proven in part through the album’s opener/title track/lead single.  ‘The Face of Fear’ is an important opener and addition to the album considering the state in which the world currently exists.  As the band noted in a discussion on the song’s lyrical content, “the song is about dealing the end of man by himself.  We create our own phobia about the destruction of the world, but remain disrespectful to the globe.”  Front man Michael Bastholm illustrates that message here, singing right off the top, “The world is gonna fall,” adding in the chorus, “Under crimson skies/Our hopes and dreams, they die/This reality/Why can’t we see.”  Additionally, he sings, “No heeding the signs/No wait for tomorrow/Ready between the lines/the face of fear/The scenes will be erased/The trials that we face/Miasma amber mist/the face of fear/It whispers in your ear/It all will end in tears.”  From here, Bastholm reprises the song’s chorus, driving home even more, the song’s blatant warning of what we as a species are doing to the planet.  The song’s official video serves to illustrate Bastholm’s message even more, featuring images of warplanes dropping bombs, missiles being fired, power plants spewing gases into the atmosphere and mushroom clouds, clear-cut forests and mounds of trash piled up in a landfill.  The images, coupled with the song’s intense lyrical message makes The Face of Fear a star wake-up call of what truly is fear-inducing.

The coupling of the song’s straight forward warning in its lyrical content and the visuals, which drive the song’s message home even more does plenty to make ‘The Face of Fear’ an important addition to The Face of Fear.  That is because of the clarity that they create together.  While they are obviously an important part of the song, they are not its only important elements.  The song’s musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as its lyrical theme.  Bastholm’s power metal vocal delivery style set against the song’s old school thrash arrangement creates an interesting dichotomy for which audiences have already shown their appreciation.  One could argue that juxtaposition harkens back to a style made popular by acts, such as Megadeth, Metallica and Anthrax in the early 1980s.  Keeping this in mind, the combination of the song’s musical arrangement, its lyrical content and even its visual content clearly shows why ‘The Face of Fear’ is an important to its namesake album.  It is just one of the examples of what makes the album in whole another successful offering from the band, too.  ‘Sworn Utopia,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength.

‘Sworn Utopia’ stands out in its own way in the overall picture of The Face of Fear in part because of its own musical arrangement.  As with the album’s title track (and so many of the album’s other songs), Bastholm’s power metal vocal delivery style couples with the thrash style approach that is so prevalent throughout the album for another powerhouse arrangement.  The song’s bridge conjures clear thoughts of Megadeth while the verses and chorus add a touch of Judas Priest influence.  Again, that collection of musical influences, which throws listeners back to the heyday and thrash (and power) metal cannot be ignored in its importance.  It is only one part of what makes the song, though.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss here as the song’s musical content.

The song starts off with the ringing of church bells before Bastholm and company launch into the song, with Bastholm singing, about altar confessions, priests’ celibacy, altar boys and faith put to the test.  He even goes so far as to directly indict the church (apparently the Catholic church) as he sings, “Your law’s religion/Dramatic and vile/Imprisonment…like a child/You must stay absent from glory and joy.”  Little doubt is left as to the song’s target, considering what can be deciphered from Bastholm’s rapid fire delivery.  If any doubt left at this point, his further statement of “For all I care/Make your peace/But don’t you take/It out on kids.”  At this point, there is no doubt left as to the song’s lyrical topic.  It is a full-on indictment of the Catholic church and the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church.  Given, it’s not the first time that a band ever took on any religious establishment, but considering the reality of the issue and its importance, it is another pressing matter.  To that end, the fashion through which Bastholm addresses the issue here is powerful in its own right.  The addition of the fury in the song’s musical arrangement helps to illustrate the urgency with which the issue must be addressed and the importance of the matter.  When both elements are considered together, they make the song another clear example of The Face of Fear’s strength.  Even with this in mind, ‘Sworn Utopia’ is still not the last example of what makes The Face of Fear another positive offering from Artillery.  ‘Preaching to the Converted’ shows just as much as ‘The Face of Fear’ and ‘Sworn Utopia’ The Face of Fear’s strength.

‘Preaching to the Converted’ is another full-throttle trash opus that fans of the genre will welcome with arms wide open.  Right from the song’s outset, the old school Megadeth and Metallica influences are on full display, as is even a touch of Exodus.  That is evident in the screaming guitar solos and solid time keeping from the drums.  Lyrically, the song comes across as a socio-political commentary of sorts.  This is inferred as Bastholm sings of people being “shackled” by politicians, those in positions of power “feeding lies” to the populous and mind control of sorts created, again, by those in power.  It is an interesting work that is certain to generate plenty of discussion if it has not already done so.  Discussions aside, it can be said with certainty that this is another work that indicts those in power for what they are doing to the masses.  That includes the world’s political leaders and maybe even military leaders.  Again, it is not the first time that a band has taken this road, but it is no less powerful here than in other acts’ presentations.  To that end, that message, coupled with the song’s full force musical presentation makes the song in whole yet another clear example of what makes The Face of Fear another welcome offering from Artillery.  It still is not the last song that can be cited in supporting that statement, either.  One could just as easily cite the seemingly tongue-in-cheek nature of ‘Dr. Evil,’ the direct discussion of what goes around comes around in ‘Crossroads To Conspiracy’ and the warning about the dangers of alcoholism in ‘Pain,’ the album’s strength becomes that much clearer.  The somewhat Dio-esque ‘Thirst For The Worst’ adds even more depth to the album as does the Metallica-esque sound of ‘New Rage’ and its seeming message about someone who has been wronged.  Between all of those songs and the works directly discussed here, the whole of The Face of Fear clearly shows itself to be another welcome offering from Artillery that shows this band still has plenty of ammunition.

Artillery’s ninth new album The Face of Fear is a strong new statement from the veteran metal outfit.  It is a work that from start to end, shows this band can still hold its own with any of today’s up-and-coming metal acts.  This is evidenced right from the album’s outset in the warning to the world about what it is doing to the planet, its equally stark musical arrangement and accompanying video.  ‘Sworn Utopia’ serves to support that statement even more, as it takes on the atrocities committed by so many members of the Catholic Church.  The seeming indictment of the world’s political leaders through ‘Preaching to the Converted’ supports that statement of the album’s strength even more.  When it is considered along with the likes of ‘Crossroads to Conspiracy,’ ‘Thirst For The Worst,’ ‘Pain’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the record shows that artillery still has plenty of ammunition, and can still hold its own against today’s younger, up-and-coming metal acts.  It is available now.  More information on The Face of Fear is available online now along with all of Artillery’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.artillery.dk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

Twitter: http://twitter.com/artillerymetal

 

 

 

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Megadeth Partners With Century Media For ‘Killing Is My Business…’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Century Media/ Century Media Label Group/Century Media Records

Megadeth is going back in time…sort of.

The band announced Friday that it will re-issue its 1985 debut album Killing is My Business…and Business Is Good! this summer.  The album is scheduled to be released June 8 via Century Media.

Killing Is My Business…and Business Is GoodThe Final Kill is just the latest re-issue for the album.  It was most recently re-issued in 2015 via Sony/Legacy.  This new re-issue Remixed by veteran mixer Mark Lewis (Trivium, Death Angel, Devildriver, Whiechapel) and remastered by Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Hatebreed, Machine Head), includes previously unheard bits and pieces throughout (E.g. a previously unheard drum drum performance found during the mixing sessions).  It also features the original album in its entirety coupled with seven live performances transferred to CD from VHS tapes found in Megadeth frontman and founder Dave Mustaine’s attic.

The extra live tracks are not this re-issue’s only bonuses.  It also includes the band’s 1984 3-track demo as part of its body alongside a previously removed cover of Lee Hazelwood’s ‘These Boots’ and new cover art for the album.  The re-issue’s full track listing is noted below.

“Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good – The Final Kill”
1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
2. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
7. Mechanix (Remastered)
8. These Boots (Remastered)
9. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
10. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
11. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
12. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
13. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
14. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
15. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
16. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
17. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
18. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

In looking at all that this re-issue offers, Mustaine was excited.

“I am just as much amazed at the music we made as I am at the pure fact that we survived at all!,” Mustaine said.

Killing is My Business…and Business Is Good!The Final Kill are open now.  It will be available in stores and online in North American on CD and in four different vinyl pressings.  Details on those releases are noted below.

North America:
CD Digipak (In stores & Online)
Gatefold Red 2LP – Limited to 1500 copies (In stores & Online)
Gatefold Black 2LP (In stores & Online)
Gatefold White 2LP –  Limited to 500 copies (FYE Exclusive)
Gatefold Silver 2LP – Limited to 500 copies (Band Exclusive available on www.megadeth.com)

It will be available on CD and two separate vinyl pressings in Europe.  Information on those releases is noted below.

Europe:
CD Digipak
Gatefold Clear 2LP – Limited to 400 copies
Gatefold Black 2LP

It will be released June 6 in Japan via Sony Japan on BluSpecCD.

Copies can be reserved now at the links noted below.

Reserve your copy today!
Band Exclusive Silver 2LP & More Megadeth Merchandise available at:
Red or Black 2LP & CD Digipak available at Century Media’s US Store:
Clear 2LP & CD digipak:
Digital Pre-orders & Streaming:
Signed Limited Copies Red or Black 2LP & CD Digipak available at Pledge Music:
http://megadeth.pmstores.co

More information on the upcoming re-issue of Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good! is available online along with all of Megadeth’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.megadeth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Megadeth

 

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.

 

Ellefson Coffee Company Announces Appearances To Promote New Drink

Courtesy: Ellefson Coffee Company/O’Donnell Media Group

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellfson’s success as an entrepreneur just keeps growing.

Just announced Thursday, Ellefson has announced some new in-person appearances alongside The Ron Keel Band to promote the growth of Ellefson’s beverage offerings and the release of The Ron Keel Band’s album Metal Cowboy Reloaded.  Ellefson, who will be on hand at each of the four currently scheduled appearances — March 16 – March 18 — will be promoting Ellefson Coffee Company’s new Urban Legend Coffee Stout alcoholic drink alongside Sioux Falls microbrewery Hydra Beer Company.

The forthcoming debut of the new drink come on the heels of the successful January debut of Combat Blood and Bullets Cabernet, a 2015 California cabernet, and Combat Hard Cider.  The cider is infused with Ellefson Coffee Company’s coffee.  Both drinks were cellared and bottled by Scottsdale, AZ’s Desert Rock Winery.  Both drinks are also available online at http://www.combatwines.com.

As noted already, The Ron Keel Band will also be on hand at some of the currently scheduled appearances.  The band’s performances at the dates, listed below, are in promotion for the upcoming release of its album Metal Cowboy Reloaded.  It will be available in stores and online March 23 via EMP Outlaw, the outlaw country arm of EMP Label Group.

Meet David at the following locations:
Friday 3/16 7 PM
HYDRA BEER COMPANY, SIOUX FALLS, SD
URBAND LEGEND COFFEE STOUT LAUNCH/
RON KEEL METAL COWBOY RELOADED CD RELEASE

Saturday 3/17 2 PM
DOWN IN THE VALLEY, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
MEET AND GREET WITH DAVID ELLEFSON
8020 OLSON MEMORIAL HWY
GOLDEN VALLEY MN 55427

SATURDAY 3/17 7 PM
WHATSUP LOUNGE – MANKATO, MN
RON KEEL METAL COWBOY RELOADED CD RELEASE
WITH MEET AND GREET WITH DAVID ELLEFSON

SUNDAY 3/18 2 PM
KNOW NAME RECORDS, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
MEET AND GREET WITH DAVID ELLEFSON
6009 PORTLAND AVE. SO. MINNEAPOLIS, MN

More information on the upcoming scheduled appearances is available online now along with more Ellefson Coffe Company and Combat Wines news at:

Website: https://ellefsoncoffeeco.comhttps://desertrockindustries.ecwid.com/#!/Special-Bottles/c/20355002

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

More information on Hydra Beer Company is available online now at:

Website: http://www.hydrabeercompany.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HydraBeerCo

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Combat Records To Rise Again

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group/O’Donnell Media Group

Combat Records is coming back.

EMP Label Group head Dave Ellefson announced this week that the label, which was one of the seminal punk and thrash labels from the 1980s, has been resurrected and will be part of the EMP Label Group family. The one-time powerhouse label shuttered its doors in the mid-2000s after its catalogue was absorbed by Sony Music.

The label’s official re-launch will happen in 2018, with its first release being British hard rock act Raven’s next, as yet untitled album. It will also re-issue a number of classic thrash and metal albums from various acts once it officially opens as well as a new compilation piece from Helstar and new recordings from Dead By Wednesday and 80s progressive thrash outfit Wrath.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the label’s re-launch that he was optimistic about its new life.

“Today is a really exciting day, as after over a year, it was finally announced that we will be re-launching the legendary Combat Records as a new label through EMP Label Group,” Ellefson said. “We are so excited and honored to be able to revive such an iconic brand that was so instrumental to my history. Even though we signed to Capitol after Killing is My Business, Combat’s logo was on all the Megadeth releases through Countdown to Extinction, and it was and is one of the most iconic metal labels of all time, even being home to some of the other artists who would end up on the EMP roster, like Helstar. The same independent spirit that drove Combat in those early days, is truly the same spirit that drives what we do with EMP, and we are honored to launch another amazing conduit to support new and established metal artists, with great respect to the legacy of the past.”

Ellefson added with Combat’s resurrection, it will only handle new material because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

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

Combat Records will be distributed through EMP Label Group via Amped Distribution domestically and via SPV in Europe.

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

Website: http://www.combatrecs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/combatrecs

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Ellefson Coffee Company To Mark Its Expansion Next Month With Hometown Party

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Ellefson Coffee Company is expanding its presence in its hometown, and its founder will be on hand to help mark the occasion.  .

Dave Ellefson, the company’s founder (and Megadeth bassist) will return to his hometown (and his company’s home town) Nov. 18 to celebrate the birthday of Kat’s Hog Heaven, the latest of the town’s local retailers to carry the company’s coffee.  The special birthday/end-of-year celebration will feature a display of various memorabilia from Ellefson’s Museum of Deth, which includes items from throughout Ellefson’s career.

The Ron Keel Band, who recently signed to EMP Label Group’s new Southern Rock/Outlaw Country imprint EMP Outlaw will provide musical entertainment for the event.  As an added touch, the celebration will also feature the debut of Ellefson Coffee Company’s new Jackson House Blend line.

Ellefson said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to the forthcoming event.

“I am so excited to return to Jackson and welcome our newest ECC retailer, Kat’s Hog Heaven, and unveil the Jackson House Blend!,” Ellefson said.  “Since we started ECC we have scoured the world to find a reasonably priced coffee that will adhere to the high quality standards we have set for ECC, and we are sure we have hit the jackpot with the Jackson House Blend.  I am also extremely excited to welcome my old friend Ron Keel to Jackson and showcase the latest addition to the EMP family!”

Ellefson Coffee Company Marketing/Operations Director Thom Hazaert agreed.

“The last time we went to Jackson, it was an absolute blast,” Hazert said.  “We’re so stoked to go back and introduce our new blend that pays homage to David’s hometown, and the great people of Minnesota!  And this time we’re dragging Ron Keel along for the ride!  We’ll also have tons of giveaways and surprises, so definitely get down and see us at Kat’s!!! (And try some of Donnie’s amazing BBQ).”

More information on Ellefson Coffee Company is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://Ellefsoncoffeecompany.com

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

 

 

 

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‘The Grinding Wheel’ Shows Overkill Is Still “Grinding” It Out Successfully

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The countdown to the year’s end is officially on, and that means for the music industry, the push is officially on to start assembling those annual year-end “Best Of” lists.  One of the lists that this critic in particular has seen overflowing with impressive titles is that of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  New releases from the likes of Prong, The Haunted, Dragonforce and so many others have easily proven themselves deserving of a spot on that list by any critic.  No critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums would be complete without the inclusion of Overkill’s latest album the Grinding Wheel.  Released this past February, this 11-song, 64-minute album is an offering that reminds audiences once again why even after more than 30 years, Overkill is still one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal realms even.  That is even as the band continues to embrace the mantra of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  The old school thrash riffs that have made the band a constant fan favorite throughout its life combine with equally interesting lyrical content here to prove why this record is one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.

Anytime that Overkill releases a new album, it will find its way onto critics’ lists of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.  The New Jersey-based thrash outfit’s 18th (yes, 18th) full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is no exception to that rule.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘Mean, Green Killing Machine.’ The song’s arrangement boasts riffs in its verses that easily lend themselves to some of the greatest classic thrash works from fellow thrashers Exodus, Metallica, Megadeth and others of that ilk.  In the same breath, the combination of front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal delivery with those riffs also conjures thoughts of so many classic Judas Priest songs.  The inclusion of the song’s more blues-based hard rock arrangement in its bridge adds even more interest to the song.  The sudden change between those two wholly separate styles is, needless to say, stark.  Yet at the same time, it still is not enough to ruin the song, musically speaking.  It only makes it that much more interesting.  Keeping that in mind, it is only one part of what makes this song proof of what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another standout record from Overkill.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

Ellsworth sings here, “Somewhere out where no one knows/Rusts a cool revolution fight/Way out there where no one goes/And it’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it right/So here’s to the piston charged/Combustible delight/The single-minded supercharged/That’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it/A call to arms/A call right through the dream/A call to action/Blow up the in-between/Feed, feed your engine/Feed, feed the wolverine/Feed, feed the tension/Mean green/Killing machine/C’mon, C’mon say what my name is/Mean green killing machine.”  Ellsworth goes on in the song’s further verses to deliver what seems like commentary perhaps about the world’s religious and business leaders, leading to the belief that perhaps while not a politically charged song, it is a lyrical worked aimed at reminding listeners to not just give in to the things being force-fed to them.  That is just this critic’s own take and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Ellsworth could easily have been making a wholly different statement.  That ability of these lyrics to create so much discussion in itself is even more proof of the importance of the song’s lyrical content.  When that content is joined with the song’s rich musical arrangement, the end result is a song that clearly exhibits what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another solid offering from Overkill.  It is hardly the only of the album’s songs to support that statement.  The album’s title track is one more example of what makes The Grinding Wheel another standout album from one of metal’s true elite acts.

‘The Grinding Wheel’ proves just as much as ‘Mean Green Killing Machine’ what makes Overkill’s latest album so enjoyable in part to its musical arrangement.  As with the previously discussed song, this composition also boasts an arrangement that is pure thrash at its finest.  It lends itself just as easily to comparisons to works from Judas Priest as the album’s opener, too.  Considering this, it goes without saying that this song’s musical arrangement is just as solid as those presented in the rest of the album’s songs.  That being the case, the next sensible step here would be to examine the song’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrical content is just as intriguing as that in the album’s opener and the record’s other songs.  Ellsworth sings here, “A bed of nails/Cold, dark, deep refrigeration/I hear it calling me/A broken rail as he drools over the congregation/I hear it calling me/Now I won’t tell you how to live your life/I never saw the point in thinking twice/I turn the wheel by day, by night/Raise your flag/Here’s to the liberation.”  The song goes on in similar fashion with equally cryptic statements throughout that are just as certain to leave listeners talking and thinking as the song’s lead verse.  Again, that ability to so easily engage listeners, even just through its lyrical content, is another way in which the song proves an important part of the record’s whole.  When it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements in whole support that statement even more.  Even considering this, it still is not the last of the songs included in this record that shows what makes the album stand out.  ‘Shine On,’ which comes early in the album’s run is one more example of what makes the record stand out.

‘Shine On’ is another key example of what makes The Grinding Wheel stand out, as with the previously discussed songs, in part due to its arrangement.  The up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement.  The arrangement presented here is a polished composition that lends itself directly to comparisons to some of Metallica’s greatest thrash style works.  Even as the song turns more doom-sounding bridge, that slower–yet no less heavy–section is a perfect fit that gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breaths without losing them.  It is only one part of what makes this song another key addition to The Grinding Wheel.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Shine On’ is important to discuss because of its seemingly anthemic nature.  That anthemic nature is inferred, at least to this critic as Ellsworth sings in the song’s chorus, “We got no patience, but we get through/We got no patience, but we got you/All of the paraders shout no fear/All of the hurricaners with their fists up in the air/Someone else gave the order to the band/Someone else ignored us/Left the cat out in the rain/One more fire before I die/One more fire, get me high/Climb on down to the fire/Climb on down to the flame/Leave your battles behind you/Shine on Doomsday/Shine on Doomsday.”  This all comes across as the band paying tribute, lyrically, to its fans, inspiring audiences to never give up on anything in life as they thank their fans for their dedication.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Either way, this song’s lyrical content comes across as a loud, proud statement from the band.  When that seemingly loud, proud statement is joined with the song’s equally heavy, driving musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows why it is an important addition to the album’s whole.  When the song is joined with the other songs noted here (and those not noted), the album in whole shows clearly why it is another powerhouse offering from Overkill, and an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Overkills’ 18th full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is a presentation of a band that more than 30 years into its life is still successfully grinding it out.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.  That is due to the solid, heavy musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 64-minute run time.  The record’s arrangements are everything that the band’s legions of fans have come to expect from its records throughout the years.  What’s interesting about them here is how polished they sound in each case.  The album’s collective lyrical content will have listeners thinking and talking just as much as its musical arrangements. From seeming commentaries (of sorts) to fist-pumping anthems and points in-between, the songs’ lyrical content gives listeners plenty to be happy about, too.  Keeping thin in mind, The album in whole proves to be a work that any Overkill fan will appreciate and agree deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on The Grinding Wheel is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

 

 

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