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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Exmortus To Support Amon Amarth On Band’s Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records/Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Prosthetic Records

Exmortus is hitting the road this spring alongside Amon Amarth and Entombed A.D.

The Whittier, CA-based thrash metal quartet announced Monday that it will join Entombed A.D. as a support act for Amon Amarth on the band’s upcoming Jomsviking North American Tour. The tour kicks off Thursday, April 7th in San Diego, California and currently runs through Saturday, May 21st in Los Angeles, CA. The thirty-five date tour is in support of Amon Amarth’s upcoming album Jomsviking (it’s tenth overall studio recording), which will be released in stores and online on Friday, March 25th. Exmortus’ stint on the Jomsviking North American tour is part of its continued support of its latest full-length studio recording Ride Forth. That album was released earlier this month. The album debuted at #12 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Front man Janan “Conan” Gonzalez was optimistic about the upcoming tour noting his respect for Amon Amarth and its extensive body of work as part of his motivation for performing with Amon Amarth. “I am beyond stoked to tour alongside such renowned viking warriors! Always loved their work and image,” he said. Amon Amarth is the elvish name of Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and I’m a huge Tolkien fan, so I’m sure we’ll get along great.” Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday, January 29that 10am local time. More information on ticketing is available online now at http://www.exmortusmusic.com.

Exmortus is currently in the midst of its own headlining tour in support of its new album. The tour runs through February 25th in Gallup, New Mexico and includes a performance at Raleigh, NC’s Pour House. That tour schedule is listed below along with Exmortus’ upcoming tour schedule with Amon Amarth and Entombed A.D.

 

UPCOMING EXMORTUS TOUR DATES

1/25 Winnipeg, MB – The Park *

1/26 Regina, SK – The Exchange *

1/27 Calgary, AB – Nite Owl *

1/28 Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room *

1/30 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater *

1/31 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven *

2/1 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre *

2/2 San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside *

2/3 West Hollywood, CA – Whisky a Go Go *

2/4 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick *

2/5 Tempe, AZ – Club Red *

2/6 Las Vegas, NV – LVCS *

2/7 Reno, NV – PB&Js *

2/8 Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue *

2/9 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater *

2/10 Merriam, KS – Aftershock *

2/11 Austin, TX – Sidewinder *

2/12 San Antonio, TX – Korova *

2/13 Houston, TX – Scout Bar *

2/14 Dallas, TX – Trees *

2/15 New Orleans, LA – Siberia *

2/16 Tampa, FL – Orpheum *

2/17 Orlando, FL – The Haven *

2/18 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade *

2/19 Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub *

2/20 Richmond, VA – Canal Club *

2/21 Raleigh, NC – Pour House %

2/22 Johnson City, TN – Hideaway %

2/23 Memphis, TN – Murphy’s %

2/24 Oklahoma City, OK – Thunder Alley %

2/25 Gallup, NM – Juggernaut %

4/7 San Diego, CA – House of Blues #

4/8 Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom #

4/9 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls #

4/10 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater #

4/12 Dallas, TX – House of Blues #

4/13 San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theater #

4/15 Houston, TX – House of Blues #

4/16 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues #

4/17 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle #

4/18 Tampa, FL – The Ritz #

4/20 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore #

4/21 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore #

4/22 New York, NY – PlayStation Theatre #

4/23 Boston, MA – House of Blues #

4/25 Rochester, NY – Water Street Music Hall #

4/26 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground #

4/28 Quebec City, QC – Imperial #

4/29 Montreal, QC – Metropolis #

4/30 Toronto, ON – The Danforth #

5/1 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues #

5/2 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews #

5/4 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant #

5/5 Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre #

5/6 Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theater #

5/7 Denver, CO – The Ogden Theater #

5/9 Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium #

5/10 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater #

5/12 Winnipeg, MB – The Garrick #

5/13 Saskatoon, SK – O’Brian’s Event Centre #

5/14 Calgary, AB – MacEwan Ballroom #

5/16 Vancouver,BC – The Commodore #

5/17 Seattle, WA – Showbox Market #

5/18 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater #

5/20 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield #

5/21 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern Theater #

* with Enforcer, Warbringer & Cauldron

% with Warbringer only

# with Amon Amarth, Entombed A.D.

 

In anticipation of Exmortus’ upcoming tour audiences can check out the band’s ‘Relentless’ Official Live Video online now. It can be viewed via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OteUwXtg92c.

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

Audiences can stream Ride Forth online now via Spotify. After hearing the album, audiences can purchase it in stores or online via Prosthetic Records’ online store, Amazon, iTunes, and Exmortus’ official Bandcamp page. More information on Exmortus’ upcoming tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.exmortusmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

 

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.

Battlecross Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Century Media Records

Battlecross is heading back on the road again this fall and winter.

Battlecross announced this week that it will headline the 2015 edition of the Winter Warriors Tour. The tour, which is in support of its latest full-length studio recording Rise To Power, kicks off Friday, December 11th in Pittsburgh, PA. The six-date tour runs through December 18th in Flint, MI. The band has teamed up with the Veterans Ticket Foundation again in order to offer free admission to the tour for the nation’s military veterans. Vets wanting to attend one of the upcoming shows can sign up for that free admission online at http://www.vettix.org beginning next Tuesday, November 17th. As an added means of honoring America’s veterans, the band is donating a portion of sales from its shirts to VetTix so that veterans and their families can attend the band’s shows and other events in their respective areas for free. The band will also spend all day November 11th honoring America’s veterans via its official Twitter page at http://twitter.combattlecross. Those military families that want their veterans to get a shout out from the band tomorrow can submit said person(s) name(s) online at http://smarturl.it/honoravet.

Battlecross won’t be alone when it hits the road. Havok, Nekrogoblikin, and Black Fast will serve as support acts for the length of the tour. General public tickets for the Winter Warriors tour go on sale this Friday, November 13th. Those that purchase tickets in advance will be entered for a chance at a free guitar.

Battlecross is currently touring alongside its label mates in Gwar. The bands will be at the NorVa November 11th in Norfolk, VA. From there they will head up the East Coast before heading south again for a performance at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC on November 17th. The bands will also perform live at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC on November 24th. These are just some of the bands’ upcoming live dates. Battlecross’ tour schedule with Gwar and its upcoming schedule on the Winter Warriors Tour is noted below.

Battlecross tour dates – “Winter Warriors 2015”
w/ Havok, Nekrogoblikon, Black Fast

Dec. 11 – Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
Dec. 12 – Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL *Battlecross and Black Fast only
Dec. 13 – Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH
Dec. 14 – Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Dec. 17 – The Garrison – Toronto, ON
Dec. 18 – The Machine Shop – Flint, MI *3rd Annual BattleChristmas

Remaining Battlecross tour dates
w/ GWAR:

Nov. 11 – The NorVa – Norfolk, VA
Nov. 12 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 13 – Toad’s Place – New Haven, CT
Nov. 14 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Nov. 15 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
Nov. 17 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
Nov. 18 – Exit / In – Nashville, TN
Nov. 19 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
Nov. 20 – Gas Monkey Live – Dallas, TX
Nov. 21 – EaDo Party Park – Houston, TX
Nov. 22 – Scoot Inn – Austin, TX
Nov. 24 – Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Nov. 25 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Nov. 27 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 28 – Venue 578 – Orlando, FL

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

 

Website: http://battlecrossmetal.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/battlecross

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. 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.

Native Construct Debuts New Video, Announces New Tour Dates

Native Construct has released a very special new video for its fans.

The prog-metal band has released a video featuring front man Robert Edens performing a rendition of the song ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.’ For those that might not be familiar with the song, it is taken from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s beloved musical adaptation of author Victor Hugo’s book Les Miserables. The song in question is performed after Marius’ friends are killed during the revolution staged at the barricade. Its musical content reprises the song performed during an earlier scene in which the Bishop of Digne allows Jean Valjean to escape arrest. Audiences can check out the video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqHRzZbE6Ek.

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The band’s guitarist Myles Yang discussed the influence behind the performance, noting that much of the band’s sound is influenced by musical theater thus making this song a natural fit. “I’m sure you can hear the musical theatre influence in the music of Native Construct,” he said. He added in his discussion that Les Miserables is one of the band members’ favorite musicals, saying We’re big fans of it, and this is a tune from an old favorite of ours, Les Misérables. Yang also offered a thorough history on how Eden’s performance here came to be. The following is Yang’s explanation of how the current presentation goes all the way back to the band members’ days in college and didn’t fully come to be realized until now. I did this arrangement for Rob to sing on back in our freshman year of college, just for fun,” he said. “We did a little recording of it in a dorm room, and that was that.” From there, Yang went on to explain how everything progressed up to the point of the performance presented in the band’s new video. Yang’s explanation is as follows:

“Fast forward to a few weeks ago — our guitarist, Poh Hock, was competing in the .strandberg* Guitar Competition. A portion of the competition was decided by popular vote, and we called on our fans for assistance. Turns out we have a great little community going here; we received an outstanding amount of support, and Poh Hock ended up taking first place in the competition. So, as a token of our appreciation, we decided to dust off this old arrangement and make a new and improved version of it for everyone to enjoy.”

“We recorded all new vocals from Rob, and he also did a fresh mix and master of the whole thing. And Max Harchik (bass) directed, shot, and edited a video of it all, for your viewing pleasure. Thanks again, guys; hope you like it!”

Along with the premiere of its new video, Native Construct also announced this week that it will head back out on the road this fall alongside Enslaved and its label mate Between The Buried and Me. The twenty-four-date tour kicks off Wednesday, November 18th in Cincinnati, Ohio and runs through Thursday, December 17th in Charlotte, North Carolina. The band’s upcoming tour is in support of its debut album Quiet World, which is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via the band’s page at Metal Blade Records’ website at http://www.metalblade.com/nativeconstruct/. The complete schedule for the upcoming tour is listed below.

Native Construct tour dates
w/ Between The Buried And Me, Enslaved, Intronaut

Nov. 18 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Nov. 19 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Nov. 20 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Nov. 21 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Nov. 23 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater
Nov. 24 – Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theater
Nov. 25 – Denver, CO – The Summit Music Hall
Nov. 27 – Reno, NV – Knitting Factory
Nov. 28 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
Nov. 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Mayan Theatre
Dec. 1 – Scottsdale, AZ – Livewire
Dec. 2 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Dec. 3 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
Dec. 4 – Lubbock, TX – Lonestar Pavilion
Dec. 5 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre
Dec. 6 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Dec. 8 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
Dec. 10 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Music Hall
Dec. 11 – Ottawa, ON – Bronson Centre
Dec. 12 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Dec. 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts
Dec. 15 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Dec. 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Dec. 17 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore

More information on Native Construct’s upcoming tour and album is available online along with Edens’ performance of ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’ and all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.metalblade.com/nativeconstruct

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

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.

Fans Will Be Proud To Be Part Of Whitechapel’s “Brotherhood” After Hearing Its New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

This Friday, veteran death metal act Whitechapel will release its news live recording Brotherhood of the Blade. The CD/DVD combo pack is a rare profile of what is one of today’s most prolific death metal acts. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the veteran Knoxville, Tennesse-based band, this recording proves to be one that any death metal fan will enjoy. This applies to the package in whole. For the sake of this review however, the focus will sit on the recording’s audio-only portion (it’s CD presentation). The main way in which Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD proves such an important part of the package is its set list. Over the course of the record’s thirteen-song, fifty-two-minute run time, the featured set list strives to both reach those fans that have been there since the band’s early days and those that have just recently joined the band’s fan base. It mostly represents the band’s most recent full-length recording Our Endless War (2014). However, none of the band’s previous four full-length recordings are ignored here, either. That will be discussed shortly. The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is just as important to note. Front man Phil Bozeman does interact with the audiences at different points. However he and his band mates–Ben Savage (guitar), Zach Householder (guitar), Alex Wade (guitar), Ben Harclerode (drums), and Gabe Crisp (bass)–let the music do the talking here. They attack each song with the full fury for which the band has come to be known for in its live shows. That is evident in the package’s CD side. However, there’s no denying that it translates even better through the package’s DVD side. Both sides together create a concert that audiences listening at home will enjoy just as much as those that were in attendance at the show’s taping. Last but hardly least of note in regards to Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD presentation is its audio mix. Considering the size of the venue in which the concert was recorded the audio mix is quite impressive in its own right. Though, again for full appreciation of that mix fans will want to take in the concert’s DVD presentation as well as its CD presentation. The combination of that solid audio mix alongside the band’s equally solid performance and set list makes Brotherhood of the Blade a live recording that will make any longtime fan proud to be part of the brotherhood and any new fan just as proud to have joined. It is a recording that even by itself proves to be among the best of this year’s new live CD recordings.

Whitechapel’s new live CD recording Brotherhood of the Blade is one of the best of this year’s new live CD offerings. It is a CD that over the course of its thirteen tracks and fifty-two minute run time will make any of the band’s longtime fans proud to be part of the band’s brotherhood. It will also leave new fans just as proud to have joined the brotherhood. The main reason for such acclaim is the concert’s set list. While the thirteen-song set list focuses heavily on the band’s most recent full-length studio recording, 2014’s Our Endless War, (it features a total of five songs from that album) it doesn’t ignore the band’s other albums, either. Four of the show’s songs are lifted from the band’s self-titled 2012 album. Two of the featured songs come from the band’s 2006 debut album The Somatic Defilement, and two more are pulled from its followup, 2008’s This is Exile. The only album not represented here was the band’s 2010 album A New Era of Corruption. Considering this, the band is to be commended for having made such a concerted effort to reach its entire fans base. Having left out that one album it would be unfair to call this performance a career-spanning show. But it still does quite the job of showing Whitechapel’s past, present, and potential future, too. It is just one way in which Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD presentation proves to be such a solid recording. The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is also of note here.

The set list that is featured over the course of Brotherhood of the Blade’s fifty-two minute run time is, while not career-spanning, is still a healthy representation of the band’s body of work. It is a set list that will entertain the band’s long-time fans just as much as its newer fans. As important as it is to note in regards to the CD presentation’s whole it is just one way in which this presentation proves to be so solid. The band’s stage presence is just as important to the concert’s overall listening experience as the show’s set list. From start to finish, front man Phil Bozeman and company impress with their stage presence. The band lets its music do the talking throughout most of the show. Though, front man Phil Bozeman does take some time here and there to interact with the audience both between songs and even during the songs. There is a certain sincerity in his voice when he thanks the hometown fans for coming out to support the band and for the audience’s years of support. It’s tough to put a finger on it, but that sincerity in his gratitude has just as much effect as his powerhouse vocals as he makes his way through each of the set’s songs. Even when he talks to the audience during the songs, there is a certain confidence in his voice that makes him stand out as a front man even more. It’s one of those things that makes his presence on stage so powerful. Of course his command of the stage isn’t all that makes the band’s stage presence so powerful and noteworthy. Ben Harclerode’s blast beats come across with the precision of an M-16 from one song to the next while the three-guitar approach creates a pummeling wall of sound that as powerful as it is never overpowers Bozeman, Harclerode, or Crisp at any point in the show. Audiences will hear (and see) this for themselves when they purchase Brotherhood of the Blade for themselves. It still isn’t the last way in which the recording proves to be so solid, even as impressive as it is. The audio mix in Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD presentation rounds out the ways in which it shows to be a solid recording.

The set list featured in Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD presentation and Whitechapel’s performance of said songs are both key ways in which the recording shows itself to be a solid new live recording from the Knoxville, Tennessee-based death metal band. While both elements are of equal importance to the recording, they are hardly the only ways in which it proves itself worth the listen. The concert featured in both the CD and DVD presentation of Brotherhood of the Blade was recorded at Knoxville’s The International. For those that might not be familiar with the venue, it is a venue with high ceilings but somewhat close walls. That means that sound goes straight out and straight up. It doesn’t have a lot of room in which to spread out and really envelop the hall, basically creating its own share of challenges. This is important to note in the concert’s audio mix because considering this element it would have been easy to have trouble for those behind the boards to balance out the show’s audio. Luckily, those charged with that duty carried out their duties with the utmost expertise. Audiences will be surprised to hear how well each member’s part was balanced against those of his band mates. This is especially important to note considering the sheer power exhibited by the band from start to finish. The end result is a death metal concert that is just as powerful on CD as it must have been in its original recording. That full, pummeling sound couples with the band’s performance of its set list and the set list itself to make Brotherhood of the Blade’s CD presentation one that will make fans new and old alike proud to be part of the band’s brotherhood of fans and a recording that is one of the best of this year’s live CD offerings.

Brotherhood of the Blade is one of the best of this year’s live CD offerings and a recording that will make the band’s fans new and old alike proud to be part of its brotherhood of fans. That is thanks in large part to its set list, which pulls from almost every one of the band’s albums to date. the band’s performance of said songs adds even more power to the CD presentation. Its final audio mix rounds out the ways in which it shows itself to be so impressive. Fans will agree with that sentiment when they experience this concert recording for themselves. Each element shows clearly in itself why this presentation is one that every fan will appreciate and enjoy. Together, they make it a presentation that is, once more, one of the best of this year’s live CD recordings. It will be available in stores and online Friday, October 30th and can be ordered online in a variety of packages at http://www.metalblade.com/whitechapel. More information on this and other titles from Metal Blade Records is available online now at:

Website: http://www.metalblade.com

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

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

Website: http://www.whitechapelband.com

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

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

Whitechapel Debuts Video for ‘The Saw is The Law’ Live

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

This Friday, October 30th, veteran Tennessee-based metal act Whitechapel will release its new live recording Brotherhood of the Blade. The CD/DVD presentation will be released in stores and online via Metal Blade Records. In anticipation of the upcoming recording, the band has premiered the video for its performance of ‘The Saw Is The Law’ from that recording.

‘The Saw is the Law’ was originally included in the band’s 2014 full-length studio recording Our Endless War,’ which was also released via Metal Blade Records. Audiences can check out the clip online now via Metal Injection’s official website at http://www.metalinjection.net/video/whitechapel-the-saw-is-the-law-is-twice-as-brutal-live. Fans can reserve their copy of Brotherhood of the Blade now online at http://www.metalblade.com/whitechapel. Fans can also check out a full-length trailer for the upcoming recording while there.

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The DVD portion of the presentation features an entire performance recorded at the band’s 2014 hometown show in Knoxville, TN as well as the package’s featured documentary. The show was part of the band’s recent tour in support of its 2014 full-length studio recording Our Endless War. The complete track listing for The Brotherhood of the Blade is listed below.

Whitechapel – The Brotherhood of the Blade track-listing:

Disc 1
–DVD: The Brotherhood of the Blade documentary
–DVD: Live at The International – Knoxville, TN June 7th, 2014 (video)
01. Rise (live)
02. Our Endless War (live)
03. Section 8 (live)
04. Faces (live)
05. I, Dementia (live)
06. Possession (live)
07. Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation (live)
08. Vicer Exciser (live)
09. Mono (live)
10. Worship the Digital Age (live)
11. The Saw Is the Law (live)
12. Possibilities of an Impossible Existence (live)

Disc 2
–CD: Live at The International – Knoxville, TN June 7th, 2014 (audio)
01. Rise (live)
02. Our Endless War (live)
03. Section 8 (live)
04. Faces (live)
05. I, Dementia (live)
06. Possession (live)
07. Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation (live)
08. Vicer Exciser (live)
09. Mono (live)
10. Worship the Digital Age (live)
11. The Saw Is the Law (live)
12. Possibilities of an Impossible Existence (live)
13. This Is Exile (live bonus track)

More information on The Brotherhood of the Blade is available online now along with all of Whitechapel’s latest news 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, 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.

Coma Ecliptic Is Yet Another Impressive Effort From One Of Prog-Metal’s Leaders

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Between The Buried and Me is one of the top names in the progressive music community today and more specifically the prog-rock and metal communities. Ever since its formation in 2000, the North Carolina-based band has remained well under the mainstream radar but still managed to consistently build its fan base. It has built that fan base by consistently re-inventing itself from one album to the next over the course of its past seven albums. Now with the release of its eighth full-length studio recording Coma Ecliptic, released this summer, the band has re-invented itself yet again and once more proven why it has continued to build its fan base and reputation within the rock and metal realms. Much like its previous pairing of recordings released via Metal Blade Records–The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (EP–2011) and The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012)–the band’s latest effort is another concept record. While technically being only the band’s second full-length concept record, it is still completely unlike The Parallax and its “sequel” and any of the band’s other previous offerings. This applies both in terms of the album’s musical and lyrical content. Both elements are key to the album’s overall listening experience. Bringing everything full circle here is the album’s production and final mix. The work of those behind the boards resulted in an album that captures every nuance of the band members’ work from beginning to end. All things considered, Coma Ecliptic proves to be yet another impressive addition to BTBAM’s already impressive body of work and another work deserving of its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Between The Buried and Me’s latest full-length studio effort is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal offerings. It is also one more example of why the North Carolina-based prog-metal act is one of the leading names within the prog-metal and metal communities today. The main reason that it proves to be such an impressive record is its lyrical content. Long-time fans will be pleased to know that with this record, the band didn’t just go and make another album along the lines of its 2011 EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues and its 2012 follow-up The Parallax II: Future Sequence. Rather the band opted for something completely different. The concept behind this record is the story of a man who puts himself intentionally into a coma in order to escape a world with which he has become rather disenfranchised. The result of the decision is that the unnamed subject finds that he has lived many times before. As he travels through these past lives, he is faced with more than one tough choice along the way and a result that is just as interesting as the story itself. The premise itself is not the first time that a prog-rock or prog-metal band has covered such a topic. Audiences can find related topics in albums from Dream Theater (Metropolis 2000) and Ayreon (The Theory of Everything) just to name a couple examples. The concepts presented in those albums are similar to the one presented here but are still separate from that presented in Coma Ecliptic. It is a concept that is certain to really have fans and audiences in general thinking and talking on so many levels. Considering that, Coma Ecliptic’s lyrical content forms a solid foundation on which the rest of its positives sit solidly, making in turn an album that is one of the best of the year’s prog-metal offerings and hard rock and metal offerings in whole.

The concept behind BTBAM’s latest full-length effort does plenty to make the record a great listen for fans and audiences in general. It does so much in fact that it alone is more than enough reason for any critic to add Coma Ecliptic to their list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums. It is just one part of what makes the album such a success. The album’s musical makeup plays just as much of a role in its success as its lyrical content. Just as the band switched things up and re-invented itself lyrically so did it re-invent itself musically, too. That is because there is no way that the sound used as the backing for the band’s Parallax records could have possibly worked with this record. Most notable of the sound presented throughout this record is that front man Tommy Rogers’ death metal growls are used far less here than in the band’s previous records. There are more clean vocals utilized from start to finish than in any of the band’s previous offerings. That is not necessarily a bad thing. That is because it allows Rogers to show even more the range of his vocal abilities. Just as interesting to note about the record’s sound is its noticeable similarity to the work of Dream Theater. More specifically, one can hear hints of the band’s 2007 record Systematic Chaos at points throughout this record. The addition of the electronic sound exhibited in ‘Dim Ignition’ adds even more variety, and in turn interest, to the album. It sounds like something that one might expect from Daft Punk with its keyboards. And that’s not a bad thing, either. As a matter of fact, the mysterious tone established through this sound and the song’s musical content, which seems to hint that the album’s subject is experiencing one of his past lives, paint a vivid picture that will definitely keep listeners engaged and thinking. It is just one of so many examples of how the evolution of BTBAM’s sound makes the album in whole such an intriguing and enjoyable new record. Together with its overall lyrical content, Coma Ecliptic shows even more why it is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums.

The musical and lyrical content put on display throughout the course of Coma Ecliptic does quite a bit to prove just how impressive BATBAM’s new record is. For all of the positives exhibited through the record’s musical and lyrical content, neither would be of any consequence without solid production. Luckily, that producer Jamie King’s work behind the glass resulted in an album that expertly balanced every tiny nuance of the album throughout the course of its sixty-eight minute run time. The fact that King has worked with the band on a significant portion of its album is the most likely reason that the production values were so impressive on this latest effort. He and the band members (even with the band’s lineup changes through the years) have gotten to know one another well enough that they each know what the other thinks will work best in any given situation. Thus, he was able to pinpoint exactly where certain riffs and fills should go or where Rogers should rely more on one vocal style versus another or even where emphasis should be placed on one note or another. Through it all, the partnership between King and the band resulted in an album that maintains BTBAM’s signature feel without rehashing the sound of the band’s previous albums. That familiarity and originality coupled with the album’s overall original concept comes together to once more show why Coma Ecliptic is another impressive offering from BTBAM and another of this year’s best hard rock and metal albums.

Between the Buried and Me’s latest full-length studio recording Coma Ecliptic is one of the band’s best works to date. The original story that makes up the body of the record and its equally creative sound work in tandem to make it a record that both the band’s long-time fans and audiences in general will enjoy and appreciate in so many ways. The work of the band’s long-time friend and producer Jamie King on this latest effort rounds out the record’s positive. His familiarity and friendship with the band (and vice versa) results in an album that is expertly balanced from beginning to end with all the right emphasis placed in all the right spots while other spots are reserved just enough to have the utmost emotional impact right to the album’s end. All things considered, Coma Ecliptic will do anything but put listeners into a coma. Rather, it is an album that will keep listeners fully engaged right to the album’s end and will even have them talking on so many levels even after its finale. Having such a wide impact, it proves once and for all why it is yet another impressive effort from one of the leading names in the prog-metal and metal communities today, and why it is also one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. Coma Ecliptic is available now in stores and online and BTBAM is currently taking some much-needed and well deserved time off before hitting the road again next month in its continued support of Coma Ecliptic. The next leg of the band’s tour includes another stop in its home state on Thursday, December 17th. The full schedule for the next leg of the band’s tour is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BTBAMofficial

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