Whitechapel Reveals New LP Specs; Unveils Video For Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Whitechapel has a new album on the way.

The Tennessee-based death metal band announced this week that it will release its sixth full-length studio recording this summer.  Mark of the Blade will be released in stores and online on Friday, June 24th.  The album will be released worldwide via Metal Blade Records.  In anticipation of its release, the band has unveiled the lyric video for the album’s lead single, which is also its title track.  The video is currently streaming online via the band’s page at Metal Blade Records’ website.

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

 

 

Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse) manned the boards for the 11-song record.  It is not the first time that he has worked with the band.  He also helmed the band’s self-titled 2012 album and its follow-up, 2014’s This Endless War.  Guitarist Alex Wade discussed the changes that listeners can expect from the band this time out with the press, noting the dynamic contrast of the songs and the role of the band members’ personal growth in the album’s sound.  “It’s the most dynamic record we’ve done, in the sense that one song can be very aggressive while the next one will be softer and sentimental,”  he said.  “At this point in our career and as we grow older, we are taking a more open-minded approach to creating our music, allowing what we think sounds good to evolve naturally, rather than to just write what is expected of us.”   The album’s complete track list is noted below.

Mark of the Blade track-listing
1. The Void
2. Mark of the Blade
3. Elitist Ones
4. Bring Me Home
5. Tremors
6. A Killing Industry
7. Tormented
8. Brotherhood
9. Dwell in the Shadows
10. Venomous
11. Decennium

Whitechapel will hit the road this summer in support of Mark of the Blade beginning May 4th in Fayetteville, AR and currently ends on May 22nd.  Fit For A King, The Plot in You, and Enterprise Earth.  After it wraps that tour, it will take some time off before joining up on the annual Van’s Warped Tour beginning June 24th in Dallas, TX.  The band’s run on the Warped Tour goes through August 13th in Portland, Oregon.  Both tour schedules are noted below.

 

 Whitechapel tour dates
w/ Fit for a King, The Plot In You, Enterprise Earth

May 4 – Fayetteville, AR – Georfe’s Majestic Lounge
May 5 – Springfield, MO – The Outland Ballroom
May 6 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street Collective
May 7 – Lubbock, TX – Jakes Sports Cafe
May 8 – Wichita, KS – Rock Island
May 10 – Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s Live Music
May 11 – Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s
May 12 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache
May 13 – Erie, PA – Basement Transmissions
May 14 – Reading, PA – Reverb Concerts
May 15 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611
May 17 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
May 18 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
May 19 – Richmond, VA – The Canal Club
May 20 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger
May 21 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
May 22 – Wilmington, NC – Ziggy’s by the Sea

Whitechapel Warped Tour dates
June 24 – Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion
June 25 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
June 26 – Houston, TX – NRG Park Main Street Lot
June 27 – New Orleans, LA – Port of New Orleans (Mardi Gras World)
June 29 – Nashville, TN – The Fairgrounds Nashville
June 30 – Atlanta, GA – Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood
July 1 – St. Petersburg, FL – Vinoy Park
July 2 – Orlando, FL – Tinker Field
July 3 – West Palm Beach, FL – Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
July 5 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte
July 6 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre
July 7 – Syracuse, NY – Lakeview Amphitheater
July 8 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
July 9 – Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheatre
July 10 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre
July 11 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
July 13 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
July 14 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake PAC
July 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
July 16 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 17 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
July 19 – Indianapolis, IN – Klipsch Music Center
July 20 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
July 21 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
July 22 – Detroit, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
July 23 – Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 24 – Shakopee, MN – Canterbury Park
July 26 – Milwaukee, WI – Marcus Amphitheatre
July 27 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 28 – Bonners Spring, KS – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
July 30 – Salt Lake City, UT – Utah State Fairpark
July 31 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center Arena Lot
Aug. 1 – Albuquerque, NM – Balloon Fiesta Park
Aug. 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Salt River Fields
Aug. 5 – San Diego, CA – Qualcomm Stadium Lot
Aug. 6 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
Aug. 7 – Pomona, CA – Pomona Fairplex
Aug. 9 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Aug. 11 – Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
Aug. 12 – Auburn, WA – White River
Aug. 13 – Portland, OR – Portland Expo Center

 

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

 

Website: http://www.whitechapelband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/whitechapelband

 

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.

Armored Saint, Metal Church Teaming Up For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Veteran rockers Armored Saint and Metal Church are teaming up for a series of live dates this summer.

The bands announced recently that they will share the stage this summer for a handful of west coast dates beginning June 3rd in Corona, California.  The dates, which currently run through June 11th in Portland, Oregon, are just some of the dates that the band has on tap this year.  The band will take some time off to rest and recharge following its west coast dates before heading overseas for a European tour that launches July 14th in London.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

Armored Saint tour dates
w/ Metal Church

June 3 – Corona, CA – M15

June 4 – Hollywood, CA – Whisky-A-Go-Go

June 5 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick

June 6 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl

June 8 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge

June 10 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven

June 11 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater

Armored Saint tour dates

July 14 – London, UK – Underworld

July 16 – Barcelona, Spain – Rock Fest Barcelona @ Parc de Can

July 28 – Brande-Hornerkirchen, Germany – Headbangers Open Air

July 29 – Saarbrucken, Germany – Saarmageddon @ Messegelande

July 30 – Essen, Germany – Nord Open Air

Oct. 8 – Tokyo, Japan – Loud Park Festival

 

The band’s upcoming tour dates are all in support of Armored Saint’s most recent full-length studio recording Win Hands Down (2015).  The album debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart in its first week out and entered the German Top 100 Albums chart at #33.  Win Hands Down is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via Armored Saint’s official Metal Blade Records page.  More information on Armored Saint’s upcoming tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.armoredsaint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thearmoredsaint

 

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Wovenwar Begins Work On Sophomore Album

Courtesy  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy Metal Blade Records

Wovenwar will return.  And according to the band’s members, its return will come this year.

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced this week that Wovenwar has entered the studio to begin working on material for its sophomore album.  The band offered the following update on tis

“Recording for the second Wovenwar album is officially underway with the drum tracking being completed and the process moving into the guitar tracking phase.  Several months-worth of demos have been condensed into eleven new songs we are very proud of.  The process found us expanding upon our melodic sound with a darker and more aggressive approach – utilizing elements restrained on our debut but familiar to our cumulative history.  Nolly Getgood (Periphery) is onboard to handle mixing duties. We look forward to hearing how his versatile talents elevate our sound and direction.  We’re looking to have the recording process wrapped up in the next couple months and hope to have the album out sometime late summer/early fall.  Until then please keep up with us on all band socials for updates.”

The band originally features members of the now defunct metalcore band As I Lay Dying, which was also signed to Metal Blade Records.  The band released six albums in its time together, five of which were originally released via Metal Blade Records.  It also released a twelve-song compilation record titled Decas via Metal Blade in 2011.  The band eventually disbanded after frontman Tim Lambesis’ 2013 arrest on charges of plotting to have his wife murdered.  The band’s remaining members—Nick Hipa (guitar), Phil Sgrosso (guitar), Josh Gilbert (bass), and Jordan Mancino (drums) joined forces with Oh, Sleeper front man Shane Blay to form Wovenwar.  The band’s self-titled 2014 debut hit #36 on Billboard’s Top 200 New Albums Chart.  Audiences can preview the album now and even order it online via Wovenwar’s official Metal Blade Records page.  More information on Wovenwar is available online now along with all of the latest updates on the band’s new album, its latest news, and more at:

 

Website: http://www.wovenwar.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WOVENWAR

 

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The Gwar-B-Q Is Back!

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The Gwar-B-Q is back!

Gwar will hold its seventh annual Gwar-B-Q this summer.  The annual summer festival returns to Richmond, VA on Saturday, August 20th.  It will be held this year at the historic Hadad’s Lake.  It is already known that along with lots of great food, Gwar will perform live once again.  And just as with last year’s festivities, the B4BQ will be held the day before the Gwar-B-Q.  The music festival will feature a vast array of bands, raffles, giveaways, and much more.  More information on the B4BQ and the Gwar-B-Q is available online now at http://gwarbq.com.  The band has also posted a trailer for this year’s Gwar-B-Q online via its official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_dNJBzyJe8&feature=youtu.be.

 

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

 

 

 

More information on this year’s annual Gwar-B-Q is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

 

 

Website: http://www.gwar.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GWARofficial

 

 

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Jomsviking Is A Dominating New Effort From Amon Amarth

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The day is here and the wait is finally over.  A little less than three years after the release of its 2013 album Deceiver of the Gods Amon Amarth has returned with its latest full-length studio recording Jomsviking.  The band’s tenth full-length studio recording, it is also the band’s first ever concept album.  Considering Amon Amarth’s history one can only ask how the band could possibly make a concept album, let alone one that works.  The fact of the matter is that the band has done just that and has succeeded at doing so for that matter.  The main reason for that is the story that the band crafted for the album.  It lies at the center of the album’s presentation.  While it is a purely fictional story, there is in fact some history behind it that will interest listeners as much as the story.  It is just one of the album’s most important elements.  The music that serves as the album’s foundation is just as important to the album’s presentation as its story.  Rounding out the album’s most important elements are the story’s transitions.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of this powerful new offering from the veteran “Viking Metal” act.  All things considered, the album has officially made this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums all the deeper and richer.  Regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the Swedish metal band’s body of work, Jomsviking proves to be a good addition to any metal aficionado’s music library.

Amon Amarth’s latest full-length studio recording Jomsviking is a good addition to any metal aficionado’s music library.  This is regardless of said listeners’ familiarity with the veteran Swedish metal band’s body of work.  This is proven centrally through the album’s story.  Jomsviking marks the first time ever that Amon Amarth has crafted a concept album in its almost twenty-five year run.  One might not think that a concept album about vikings, love, loss, and revenge would work.  But this record proves otherwise over the course of its eleven songs and fifty-two minutes.  It is hardly the happiest story.  But as frontman Johan Hegg explained in an interview, he likes stories with sad endings because “they’re the ones that affect you the most.”  Hegg has a point considering that some of Shakespeare’s greatest works were tragedies (E.g. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Ceasar).  Hegg explains of the story’s background that it centers on a young man that has lost the woman that he loves because she is being married off to another man.  He ends up accidentally killing the man in question and in turn is forced to leave his land.  The story that follows is one that honestly plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy believe it or not, thus making it well worth the experience.  It’s just one aspect of the story that makes it so worth the listen.  The story is actually based on the well-known Viking mercenaries known as Jomsvikings.  The Jomsvikings were pagans that worshipped the Norse gods, and basically fought for anyone that paid the right price.  The thing is that the Jomsvikings’ headquarters has never officially been found.  Because of this, confirming their overall history has been difficult.  Regardless of fact or fiction, that the band would craft a story based on such a well-known group of figures is in itself impressive.  That the band would craft a story that is so vivid and in turn engaging makes the story even more important to the album’s overall presentation.  It is just one element that proves the album’s value to any metal aficionado’s music library.  The album’s musical content is just as important to its presentation as its story.

The story that lies at the center of Jomsviking is in itself an important part of the album’s presentation.  That is because on one level it is historically based (at least to a point).  That in itself could lead listeners on their search into the history behind the album’s story.  On another level the story itself is a vivid tale that is so rich in its crafting that seeing its events unfold in one’s own mind is extremely simple.  It’s like a story that came from the mind of a major blockbuster screen writer.  Speaking of that a clear reason that it comes across as vividly as a major motion picture is the album’s musical foundation.  Guitarist Olavi Mikkonen discussed just that in the band’s interview.  Mikkonen went so far as to say of the album’s music that crafting the album’s songs is “basically making music for a movie.”  “You have to follow certain moods and we had to figure out where we needed the aggressive songs or the more mellow or sad moments,” he said of developing the album’s musical foundation.  “And then we had to find the right ideas for that.”  He went on in his discussion to note the amount of fun that the band had in balancing everything in terms of the album’s music.  The band got each of the moods right from beginning to end.  There are familiar elements incorporated into the album’s body along with some metalcore riffs as well as some speed/thrash material, too.  Those elements, when set alongside Hegg’s vocal delivery and the attention to each song’s mood, make a musical foundation that holds its own from start to finish even without the album’s story.  The album’s story set atop that foundation makes the album all the more worth hearing and worth the addition to any fan’s music library.  Even with both elements taken into consideration they are not the only important parts of the album’s whole.  The story’s transitions are just as important as anything else in this record.

That story that sits at the center of Jomsviking and its musical content are both key elements of this tenth full-length studio recording from one of the metal community’s most respected acts.  While both elements are pivotal in their own way to the album’s presentation they are not the only elements that should be noted in examining this record.  The story’s transitions are just as important as the story and its musical foundation.  The transitions may not seem important to the story.  But since the album does center on a full-length story, its transitions are in fact more important that people want to think.  The reason that they are so important to the album is the way in which they were executed.  So many concept albums out there have clear transitions in their stories.  That is a given.  But at the same time, those transitions are rather fluid to say the least.  In other words there is no real division between the stories’ “chapters” so to speak.  Everything runs together in those stories.  In the case of Jomsviking the band has clearly separated each of the story’s chapters from one another over the course of its eleven tracks.  What this does is ensure listeners’ engagement from beginning to end.  That is because it gives listeners the chance to stop and catch their breath and make sure that they understood the events of each of the story’s chapters.  Given Jomsviking isn’t the only concept album to take this approach in its storytelling.  Even with this in mind the fact that the band has done so with its first ever concept album shows why it is so important.  It is a very wise way to keep the story progressing while keeping listeners engaged at the same time.  That smart writing style works alongside the album’s musical content and the album’s central story to make the album in whole not just another impressive record from Amon Amarth but also another clear candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums in an already very crowded field.

Amon Amarth’s latest full-length studio recording is one of the best concept albums to be released within the rock and metal communities in many years.  That is because on the surface, it presents a story unlike any presented by any other band in said communities.  It takes the band’s familiar Viking themes and made them into one complete story that plays out so richly and vividly that listeners can clearly see each scene play out in their own minds.  It’s like something right out of a major big screen blockbuster.  And considering how dark and gritty so many of today’s movies are, it would potentially even fit in very nicely.  Just a thought for the band should any of its members read this review.  The music that serves as the story’s foundation is just as important to the album’s overall presentation.  The story’s transitions round out its presentation.  Unlike so many other concept albums out there, the band didn’t just string all of the story’s songs together in one long presentation.  Rather, the story is broken up into distinct “chapters” separate of one another.  Again, Amon Amarth is not the first band to take this smarter route with a concept album.  But at the same time considering the number of concept albums that don’t take that route.  Thankfully Amon Amarth is one of the band’s that opted against that route.  Because of that it ensures the maintained engagement of listeners regardless of their familiarity with the band’s body of work.  And regardless of that familiarity listeners in whole will come out of this record agreeing that, again, it is one that every metal fan should have in his or her own music library.  Those same listeners will also agree that it is one more candidate for a spot in what is an already crowded field of albums deserving of a spot in 2016’s list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  The band is currently touring in support of Jomsviking.  The band is live today in Berlin, Germany.  It is the last date on the current European leg of the band’s tour in support of Jomsviking.  The band will launch the North American leg of its tour on Thursday, April 7th in San Diego, California.  More information on Jomsviking and Amon Amarth’s upcoming tour schedule at:

 

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

 

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Whitechapel Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Whitechapel is heading back out on the road this spring.

The veteran TN-based metal outfit has announced that it will embark on one more group of live dates in support of its most recent full-length studio recording Our Endless War (2014).  The upcoming tour schedule launches Wednesday, May 4th and runs through Sunday, May 22nd.  Fit For A King will join the band as support on the tour along with Enterprise Earth and The Plot In You.  The tour launches in Fayetteville, Arkansas and wraps up in Wilmington, NC.  More dates will be announced as the band is also planning on touring this summer in support of its as-yet untitled sixth album.  The band is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on that record.  Mark Lewis returned to helm this record after manning the boards for Our Endless War.    The band’s current list of dates is noted below.

 

Whitechapel tour dates
w/ Fit for a King, The Plot In You, Enterprise Earth

May 4 – Fayetteville, AR – Georfe’s Majestic Lounge

May 5 – Springfield, MO – The Outland Ballroom

May 6 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street Collective *

May 7 – Lubbock, TX – Jakes Sports Café

May 8 – Wichita, KS – Rock Island

May 10 – Des Moines, IA – Lefty’s Live Music

May 11 – Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s

May 12 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache

May 13 – Erie, PA – Basement Transmissions

May 14 – Reading, PA – Reverb Concerts

May 15 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611

May 17 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground

May 18 – Clifton Park, NY – Upstate Concert Hall **

May 19 – Richmond, VA – The Canal Club

May 20 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger **

May 21 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern

May 22 – Wilmington, NC – Ziggy’s by the Sea

*=Whitechapel, Fit for a King, Enterprise Earth only
**=Whitechapel, The Plot In You, Enterprise Earth only

 

More information on Whitechapel’s upcoming tour is available online now with all of the latest updates on its next album and all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://whitechapelband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/whitechapelband

 

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.

 

Exmortus Is At Its Peak In On Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Exmortus struck quite the blow for the metal community when it released its album Slave To The Sword back in 2014. The band’s third full-length studio record and first for Prosthetic Records, it can be argued that it was the album that really made Exmortus into one of the metal community’s next big names. Earlier last month Exmortus followed up the success of that album with its latest full-length studio recording Ride Forth. The band’s fourth full-length studio offering this record is a solid follow-up to Slave To The Sword. Its nine track, forty-three-minute body presents a band that doesn’t rest easily on its laurels. From beginning to end the album keeps its energy and intensity both musically and lyrically beginning right at the album’s outset. ‘Speed of the Strike’ is a full-throttle metal opus that comes at listeners with the speed and precision of the sharpest blade. This applies both with its musical and lyrical content. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is just as pummeling in its approach. And the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored either. The band has taken the legendary composer’s original work and paid it full tribute in its take in its performance of the song. It is every bit as intense here as the original composition, which is more commonly performed on piano. It serves to once again exhibit the breadth of the band’s talents and musical knowledge. When set against the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, it serves as one more example of why Ride Forth is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Ride Forth, Exmortus’ latest full-length studio recording, is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is evident from the album’s full-throttle, take no prisoners opener ‘Speed of The Strike’ right to its finale, ‘Fire And Ice.’ From beginning to end this record’s sound (which conjures thoughts of Arch Enemy, Poweglove, TSO, and other similar acts) alongside its equally powerful lyrical content keeps listeners’ ears with ears. Speaking of the album’s opener it is just one example of what makes this album such an outstanding new effort from Exmortus. In regards to the song’s musical content, the band wastes no time coming at listeners. Guitarist David Rivera and front man/guitarist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez jump right into the song with their dual guitar attack alongside drummer Mario Moreno and bassist Michael Cosio. The song’s no-nonsense musical approach is in itself just one part of what makes it a solid opener for the band on this album. That is just one part of what makes the song’s musical content notable. Even within the song’s musical content audiences that listen closely will note the band’s classical influences throughout the song. The precision in Rivera and Gonzalez’s performance is incredible. The same can be said of Cosio and Moreno as they establish the song’s foundation. Altogether, the quartet’s abilities create a sound here that in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to hear this song. It’s just one important element of this song. The song’s lyrical content is just as intense as its musical content. Gonzalez sings here, “Riding forth through lands forlorn/Upon our steel the oath is sworn/Dare to make your final stand/Nothing can our steel withstand/Fate is sealed/Death by steel/Slaying man and god alike/All shall feel the speed of the strike.” It comes across like something right from the likes of Amon Amarth and other viking metal acts even though Exmortus is anything but. Interestingly enough Exmortus will hit the road this spring alongside Amon Amarth on its upcoming U.S. tour. Gonzalez continues in similar fashion in the song’s chorus as he sings, “Hark! The sound of steel/The mighty roar of clashing swords/Lo! The metal storm/Forthcoming bane/Those who remain/All shall be torn to shreds/Swords stained red/Raze to the ground/We will strike you down.” This and the song’s opening verse alone build a firm bridge back to Slave To The Sword yet also connects that album expertly to this album. Taking all of this into consideration along with the rest of the song’s equally pummeling lyrical content, the song in whole exhibits clearly in itself what makes Ride Forth a musical ride. it is just one example of what makes Exmortus’ new album such an intense and welcome musical ride. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is another example of what makes this album so intense and so welcome among both the band’s fans and the metal community.

‘Speed Of The Strike’ was the perfect choice with which Exmortus opted to open its latest full-length studio recording. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together instantly grabs listeners and holds them firm from start to finish. While the musical and lyrical intensity of this song makes it a solid first impression for the band on its latest offering, it is just one example of what makes this album such an impressive new offering from Exmortus. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of what makes the album a solid new effort from the Whittier, California-based band. In regards to its musical content it is just as intense with the chainsaw sharpness of its dual guitar attack and machine gun-fast drumming. Its lyrical content is just as intense as that of ‘Speed of the Strike,’ too. As Gonzalez sings here, “Ride on/Raise your strong and fight strong/All shall face the mighty metal horde/Thunder/We go in and plunder/Bow before the heavy hammer lord/Whiplash/Hackslash/All is burned to ash.” Yet again here listeners get much the same lyrical intensity and theme as in ‘Speed Of The Strike.’ The combination of that lyrical and musical intensity from beginning to end shows clearly why this song is another example of what makes ‘For The Horde’ such a welcome return for the band. Audiences can check out the band’s lyric video for the song online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo35U4PTQ90. It still is not the only remaining example of what makes the album such an impressive return for Exmortus, too. The band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored as an example what makes this album so impressive either.

Both ‘Speed Of The Strike’ and ‘For The Horde’ are prime examples of what makes Ride Forth a clearly welcome return for Exmortus. They are both prime examples of why it is such a welcome return for the band because of the intensity of both their musical and lyrical content. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited as examples thanks to that intensity, too. ‘Death To Tyrants’ could just as easily be cited with its impassioned call to arms against those that rule the world unjustly and its equally powerful musical content. Audiences can hear that song online via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u40otH-jZZw. ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Black Sails’ could also be cited as examples in their own right. Given the amount of material that could be used to exhibit just what makes Ride Forth such an impressive return there is still one more song included in this album that shines bright because of its musical content alone. That song is the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement. The song is just one part of a much larger song. The song in whole runs nearly twenty-five minutes in length. So of course the band wasn’t about to try its hand at the entire composition. That would likely wear out even the most experienced musicians. Heck it even wears out professional, classically trained pianists. To that extent the band can be excused. Taking that into consideration the movement that is presented here in this recording is impressive in its own right. Gonzalez and Rivera are spot on handling the song’s main line. And Cosio is just as impressive as he runs the song’s harmony. All three parts together surprisingly mirror the original composition quite well. It would be unfair to ignore drummer Mario Moreno’s work in this presentation. He stays right on time with his band mates as he adds just enough extra flourish to the song. The cymbal crashes are inserted at just the right points. And his rapid fire footwork on the bass drums is right in time with Cosio’s bass line and even the song’s guitar lines. It’s enough to leave one wondering what a full orchestra version of the song would sound like instead of the song’s typical piano presentation. That’s really saying something about the band members’ talent in taking on a piece that is heavy not in the heavy sense but in terms of the intense concentration and talent that it requires to accomplish it successfully. The song is well over two centuries old. But the band gives it a wonderful new twist all while paying tribute to the original composition. That speaks volumes about the band’s take on the song and about the band’s talent in general. It shows once more why this song is yet another prime example of what makes Ride Forth a welcome return for Exmortus and why alongside the rest of the album’s featured works it is in whole one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Audiences can hear the song for themselves via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDnNIXpu0nQ.

Exmortus’ fourth full-length studio album is a picture of a band that is currently at the peak of its career and talent. The band mixes precision guitar work and drumming with lyrical content that is just as powerful in its own right. The end result is a nine-song, forty-three minute experience that will impress any purist member of the metal nation worldwide. It is an experience that will leave said metal loyalists agreeing with this and many other critics that this record is one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Ride Forth is available now in stores and online. Audiences can order it or download it direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store now at http://prostheticrecords.com/?p=8531. Fans can also pick it up now at any of the band’s live dates. Exmortus is currently touring in support of Ride Forth. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of its latest news and more at:

Website: http://exmortusmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

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