Whitechapel Debuts Second Single From ‘The Valley’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Reocrds

Whitechapel released the second single from its forthcoming album The Valley this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Black Bear‘ on Thursday.  The song follows the debut of the album’s lead single ‘Brimstone‘ on Nov. 1.

Produced by Mark Lewis (Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder), mixed by David Castillo and mastered by Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Norah Jones, The Eagles), The Valley is currently scheduled for release March 29 via Metal Blade Records.

The album’s title is a reference to the part of the Hardin Valley (west of Knoxville, TV) where front man Phil Bozeman grew up.  Guitarist Alex Wade explained in a recent interview that the album’s title and lyrical themes go a long way toward explaining what Bozeman endured during his years living in the Hardin Valley.

“Phil has been upfront in his lyrics in the past about hardships he endured in his life as a child, and I believe with this record, we tried to paint a better picture of that,” Wade said.  “I believe our music is Phil’s release from his past, being able to get it out and speak about it, and hopefully anyone who hears it that may have gone through similar experiences can find some release in it as well.”

Bozeman expanded on Wade’s thoughts, saying that the record offers much for audiences to appreciate.

“Sound-wise, it’s all over the place,” Bozeman said.  “There’s aggression, and then you’re hit with ominous and emotional guitar riffs.  It’s mean, but then transfers to soft and inviting.  It’s a whirlwind of emotions throughout.”

The full track listing for The Valley is noted below.

The Valley track-listing
1. When a Demon Defiles a Witch
2. Forgiveness Is Weakness
3. Brimstone
4. Hickory Creek
5. Black Bear
6. We Are One
7. The Other Side
8. Third Depth
9. Lovelace
10. Doom Woods

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Pre-orders for The Valley are open now.  The album will be available in a variety of formats, all of which are noted below.

–digipak-CD
–box set (digipak CD, shoulder bag, 10 art prints, poster)
–clear w/ black smoke vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 600 copies)
–transparent red w/ black smoke vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–opaque red inside black haze vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–opaque cream w/ black splatter vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–black inside transparent orange haze vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–orange / red marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–180g clear vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–clear / black marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–white / orange / red marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–orange / purple marbled vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
–blood splattered vinyl (Impericon exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
* exclusive bundles with shirts, plus digital options are also available!

More information on The Valley, Whitechapel’s current tour schedule and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.whitechapelband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal

Twitterhttp://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.

 

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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

 

 

 

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.

Artillery Debuts ‘Pain’ Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Recprds

Artillery debuted the music video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its third single ‘Pain‘ on Thursday. The video illustrates the song’s lyrical message about a person battling with alcoholism by presenting a man looking in the mirror at himself, realizing what he has become and coming to terms with his situation.

Speaking of that theme, guitarist Michael Stutzer said the song’s lyrical them centers directly on the issue of an alcoholic who has come to terms with his/her disease, too late.

“The story behind ‘Pain’ is a true story about an alcoholic who was never listening to his friends or family when they tried to make him stop drinking,” Stutzer said.  “And when he got to the point where he realized himself, he had to stop — it was too late, and there was no way out anymore.”

Artillery debuted the video for ‘The Face Of Fear,’ the title track and lead single from The Face of Fear on Sept. 26.  Its debut was followed up by the release of the album’s second single, ‘Crossroads To Conspiracy‘ on Oct. 17.  The initial audio-only stream of ‘The Face of Fear’ premiered Sept. 12.

The Face of Fear is scheduled to be released Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records.  It will be available on limited edition digipack with two bonus tracks, 180-gram black vinyl and four separate limited edition colored vinyl pressings.  Their details are noted below.

–opaque grey blue marbeled vinyl (ltd. 300 – EU-exclusive)
–golden yellow blue marbled vinyl (ltd. 200 – EU-exclusive)
–blue green / white splattered vinyl (ltd. 100 – EMP-exclusive)
–blue/black marbled vinyl (ltd. 300 – US-exclusive)

Pre-orders are open now. The album’s track listing is noted below.

The Face Of Fear track-listing:
1. The Face of Fear
2. Crossroads To Conspiracy
3. New Rage
4. Sworn Utopia
5. Through The Ages Of Atrocity
6. Thirst For The Worst
7. Pain
8. Under Water (instumental)
9. Preaching to the converted

10. Mind Of No Return (ltd. 1st ed. bonus track / re-recorded song from Artillery‘s first demo from 1982)
11. Doctor Evil (ltd. 1st ed. bonus track / 2018 version)

More information on The Face of Fear is available online now along with all of Artillery’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.artillery.dk

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/artillerymetal

 

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.

Whitechapel Announces New LP Specs, Releases Album’s Lead Single; Celebrates Album Anniversary With Tour

Courtesy: Metal Blade Reocrds

Whitechapel has announced the release date for its next album, and in anticipation, the band is giving audiences their first preview of the album.

The Valley, the band’s seventh full-length studio recording is currently scheduled to be released March 29 via Metal Blade Records.  In anticipation of its release, the band is streaming the record’s lead single ‘Brimstone‘ online now here.

The Valley was produced by longtime Whitechapel collaborator MArk Lewis (Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder). The album’s title is a reference to the part of the Hardin Valley (west of Knoxville, TV) where front man Phil Bozeman grew up.  Guitarist Alex Wade explained in a recent interview that the album’s title and lyrical themes go a long way toward explaining what Bozeman endured during his years living in the Hardin Valley.

“Phil has been upfront in his lyrics in the past about hardships he endured in his life as a child, and I believe with this record, we tried to paint a better picture of that,” Wade said.  “I believe our music is Phil’s release from his past, being able to get it out and speak about it, and hopefully anyone who hears it that may have gone through similar experiences can find some release in it as well.”

Bozeman expanded on Wade’s thoughts, saying that the record offers much for audiences to appreciate.

“Sound-wise, it’s all over the place,” Bozeman said.  “There’s aggression, and then you’re hit with ominous and emotional guitar riffs.  It’s mean, but then transfers to soft and inviting.  It’s a whirlwind of emotions throughout.”

The full track listing for The Valley is noted below.

The Valley track-listing
1. When a Demon Defiles a Witch
2. Forgiveness Is Weakness
3. Brimstone
4. Hickory Creek
5. Black Bear
6. We Are One
7. The Other Side
8. Third Depth
9. Lovelace
10. Doom Woods

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Pre-orders for The Valley are open now.  The album will be available in a variety of formats, all of which are noted below.

–digipak-CD
–box set (digipak CD, shoulder bag, 10 art prints, poster)
–clear w/ black smoke vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 600 copies)
–transparent red w/ black smoke vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–opaque red inside black haze vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–opaque cream w/ black splatter vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–black inside transparent orange haze vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
–orange / red marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–180g clear vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
–clear / black marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–white / orange / red marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
–orange / purple marbled vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
–blood splattered vinyl (Impericon exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
* exclusive bundles with shirts, plus digital options are also available!

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

As audiences count down the days to the release of The Valley, they can also see the band live on its “Ten Years of Exile” tour, which is being held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band’s 2008 album This is Exile.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Whitechapel tour dates
w/ Chelsea Grin, Oceano, Slaughter To Prevail

Nov. 3 – Easton, PA – One Centre Square
Nov. 4 – Providence, RI – Fete Ballroom
Nov. 5 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
Nov. 7 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club
Nov. 8 – Huntington, WV – V Club
Nov. 9 – Dayton, OH – Oddbodys
Nov. 10 – Greenville, SC – The Firmament
Nov. 12 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theater
Nov. 13 – Orlando, FL – The Abbey
Nov. 16 – Toledo, OH – Civic Music Hall
Nov. 17 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
Nov. 18 – Ft Wayne, IN – Piere’s
Nov. 20 – St Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
Nov. 21 – Lincoln, NE – Royal Grove
Nov. 23 – Wichita, KS – Wave
Nov. 24 – Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios
Nov. 25 – Ft Collins, CO – Aggie Theater
Nov. 27 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
Nov. 28 – Spokane, WA – The Pin
Nov. 29 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market
Nov. 30 – Jerome, ID – Diamondz Event Center
Dec. 1 – Portland, OR – Bossanova Ballroom
Dec. 2 – Bend, OR – Domino Room
Dec. 4 – Chico, CA – Senator Theater
Dec. 5 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
Dec. 6 – Bakersfield, CA – Bryder’s
Dec. 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theater
Dec. 8 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Dec. 9 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
Dec. 12 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
Dec. 13 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
Dec. 14 – Memphis, TN – Growler’s
Dec. 15 – Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
Dec. 16 – Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine

More information on The Valley, Whitechapel’s current tour schedule and more is available online now 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.

 

 

 

Amon Amarth Releases New Live Clip From ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ Package

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth has released a new live clip from its forthcoming documentary/live recording package.

The band debuted the video of its performance of ‘Raise Your Horns’ Nov. 2 via its official YouTube channel.  The song is taken from the live portion of the band’s upcoming doc/live package, The Pursuit if Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  The performance was recorded at the band’s performance at Germany’s Summer Breeze 2017 Festival.

The live portion of the package was directed by Phil Wallis, and produced Alexander Milas.

The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records.  The collection will feature a double-live recording and a full-length documentary.

The documentary takes audiences through the band’s rich history both in studio and on the road, and includes a wealth of interviews with the band through that time.  The double-live recording features two sets from the band, performed at the 2017 Summer Breeze Festival in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany.

Guitarist Olavi Mikkonen said the band was glad to have both performances together in one setting.

“For the first night, we wanted to write a set that the fans would enjoy by wholly diving into our back catalog, but also keeping it interesting,” Mikkonen said.  “Putting the two shows together also made us realize that we had a lot of songs to choose from!”

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Pre-orders are open now along with a trailer for the collection here.  The collection will be available on CD/2DVD digipack, Blu-ray, special edition hardcover book with six discs (3DVD/2CD/1 Blu-ray) and vinyl.

The vinyl pressings will be in transparent orange, clear black with splatter and transparent yellow with orange marble vinyl.  The transparent orange pressing will be limited to 500 copies; the clear black with splatter 250 copies and yellow with orange marble 250 copies.

The collection’s full track listing is noted below.

CD track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

DVD Digipak and Blu-ray track-listings:
Documentary
T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017
1. Twilight of the Thunder God
2. Free Will Sacrifice
3. With Oden on Our Side
4. The Last with Pagan Blood
5. For the Stabwounds in Our Backs
6. Thousand Years of Oppression
7. Gods of War Arise
8. Versus the World
9. Asator
10. Under the Northern Star
11. Fate of Norns
12. Varyags of Miklagaard
13. Live for the Kill
14. Victorious March
Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

**Note: special edition hardcover book contains all of the above, plus audio from T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017**

Vinyl track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):
SIDE A
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
SIDE B
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
SIDE C
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
SIDE D
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

More information on The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available online now along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/amonamarthband

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.

Amon Amarth Fans New And Old Will Want To “Pursue” The Band’s New Doc/Live Package

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Over the course of the past 25 years, veteran metal band Amon Amarth has become one of the most respected and unique bands in the metal community.  That is because of its music and its live performances.  From its debut 1996 EP Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds to its most recent full-length studio recording, 2016’s Jomsviking, the band has stuck to what it knows, writing songs about Vikings.  It’s not the only band that rose to fame in taking this path, but has become even more famous than its contemporaries in taking that path.  The band’s live shows have been just as key in making the band so well-known and respected, as they have included the standard Viking ship on stage, and at times, even Viking battle re-enactments.  Of course while the band has become one of the metal community preeminent acts today, its road to worldwide stardom was not the easiest.  That story is presented in the documentary included in the band’s forthcoming documentary/live recording package, The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm, and it is a story that is certain to create a new appreciation for the band.  It is just one part of what the package – set for release Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records – that makes it a worthwhile addition to any Amon Amarth fan’s collection.  The live material included in the package is just as important to note as the documentary.  It will be discussed a little later.  Its pricing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  All things considered, they make the recording a collection that, again, will appeal especially to the band’s most devoted fan base.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran metal outfit.  It is a work that is certain to appeal to the band’s most devout fan base, and even to new audiences who might be less familiar to the band.  That is due in no small part to the documentary included in the bundle.  The doc, which clocks in sans end credits at a little more than 90 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes to be exact), serves as an interesting introduction to the band for those noted new audiences, and an equally welcome re-introduction to the band’s more seasoned fans.  It takes audiences from the band’s earliest days, struggling to balance their blue-collar lives with trying to make it in the music business to its current state atop the metal community.  That back story in itself is a sort of rags to riches story, so to speak because it presents the band as a group that worked its way to the top.  It was not given the world.  It had to work to earn it.  The band’s fron man, Johan Hegg, discusses that work ethic at one point late in the documentary, explaining the clear role that it has played in the band’s success.  Along with that, some audiences might be surprised to learn that there was a chance early on in the band’s career that it might not even have been around if not for the success of one record.  That story will be saved for those who have not yet had the pleasure of taking in this retrospective.  It is another one of those anecdotes that adds to the appreciation that the doc presents.  As if everything noted here is not enough, audiences will be just as interested to take in the discussions on the band’s decision to go forward with focusing so much on Viking mythology in its albums despite the apparent belief of some that it has to certain groups.  There is an equally interesting discussion that goes along with that talk, in which the band talks frankly about steering away from the standard death metal fare, and why it opted not to go that route.  That discussion is one of the most powerful, as brief as it might be.  It joins with everything else presented over the course of the documentary’s run to make this story one that is certain to make audiences new and old see Amon Amarth in a whole new and certainly positive light.  To that end, the documentary featured in this new presentation is a strong addition to the whole of the presentation, and is not the only positive to the set.  The live material included in the set adds even more enjoyment to the package.

The live material featured in The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is so important because of everything that goes into that presentation, from the set lists to the band’s performance thereof and the production values.  The two set lists – taken from the band’s Aug. 16 & 17 Summer Breeze Festival performance – pull songs from nine of the band’s current 10 albums.  In other words, it is safe to say that this is a career-spanning two-night performance.  The only album not represented in the recording is the band’s 2001 album The Crusher.  The band’s debut 1996 EP Sorrow Through The Nine Worlds also is not included in the set list, but the band can easily be forgiven for that.  Over the course of the 30-song set, the band pulls most liberally from its 2006 album With Oden on Our Side and its follow-up, 2008’s Twilight of the Thunder God, with each album getting six nods.  Jomsviking is next with five songs, and then Versus The World (2002) with four, Deceiver of the Gods (2013) with three, Surtur Rising (2011) and Fate of Norns (2014) with two each and then The Avenger (1999) and Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1998) each with just one song representing them respectively.  To say that the set list is extensive would be an understatement.  As with the documentary, such an extensive set list serves as a solid representation of Amon Amarth’s career to this point.  Simply put, this makes the set list another excellent introduction to the band for fans less familiar with the band’s work and an equally welcome presentation for those more seasoned audiences.

The extensive set list featured in the band’s Summer Breeze 2017 performance is just part of what makes that performance welcome.  The band’s performance thereof adds even more of a positive touch to the recording.  From start to finish, the band gives its all for its audiences on both nights of the festival, letting the music do the majority of the talking.  It serves to display that work ethic that Hegg talked about in the documentary, making for even more appreciation for the band.  The same can be said of Hegg’s interactions with the audience between songs.  From the casual discussion about the band donating its now famous on-stage Viking boat to Hegg’s encouragement of the audience to do its own “Viking row” to the general mid-performance banter, Hegg proves to be an entertaining front man.  His band mates meanwhile do just as much to entertain audiences throughout each song, that they are giving 110 percent and more.  It’s just one more way in which the live material stands out so strongly here.

The recording’s production values are just as worth noting in examining the recording as the band’s performance and the recording’s set list.  The work that went into balancing the sound and capturing the concert both during and in post production paid off, giving audiences at home the best seat in the house.  The sound is everything that a home viewer should expect from audio mixing while the camera work offers its own entertainment.  Audiences are taken on stage, into the crowd and high above throughout.  What’s interesting to note here is that the shooting actually at times has a little bit of a guerilla look.  Luckily that feeling is not overpowering at any given moment.  Rather, it is just enough that when coupled with the more spit-shined shots, the combination of those clearer and more raw shots makes for its own interesting experience.  The end result of the attention paid to every detail makes this performance just as enjoyable for its production work as for the set list and the band’s performance.  In other words, everyone behind the boards and cameras is fully deserving of praise for their work.  That effort and time was well worth it.  Now keeping all of this in mind, the last important element of this set to note is its pricing.

Looking through the nation’s biggest retailers – Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart —  finding this new recording was a bit of a craps shoot. That is both because The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available on so many platforms and because right now, some of the retailers do not have it listed.  Target has the vinyl presentation listed while Best Buy has three of its separate platforms listed at coordinated prices.  The problem is that Best Buy’s listings do not specify which price is with which platform.  Walmart does not even list the recording, and Amazon lists the pricing for the CD/2 DVD and Blu-ray platforms.  Of course, Metal Blade lists each of the platforms and their respective prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, and that most people will likely buy either the Blu-ray or CD/2DVD set, finding an average price point at the time of this posting is next to impossible.  However, comparing Amazon’s current pricing to that of Metal Blade, it can be said that even with shipping, fans will find it less expensive to purchase the Blu-ray and the CD/2DVD set direct from Metal Blade’s official store.  That is always open to change, of course, but for now Metal Blade’s official store is offering a more affordable price for each platform, even with shipping & handling.  When this is considered along with everything else noted here, it goes without saying that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a relatively affordable presentation that audiences new and old alike will happily welcome in their own music libraries.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live recording bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran Swedish metal band.  It is a presentation that is certain to appeal to the band’s most seasoned fans just as much as it will to those less familiar with the band and its body of work.  That is proven in part through the extensive documentary that takes audiences through the band’s story from its earliest days pre-Amon Amarth up to its current point.  It paints a rich picture of the band’s past, present and future.  The equally extensive 30-song set does just as much to illustrate the band’s history.  The whole thing proves relatively affordable especially considering the amount and type of content presented in the Blu-ray platform.  Keeping all of this in mind, it can be said with ease that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a work whose appeal is far-reaching, and in turn proves to be one of this year’s top new live Blu-rays and DVDs.  It will be available Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records, and can be pre-ordered now via Metal Blade’s online store.  More information on The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available now online along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

 

 

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.

Artillery Debuts New LP’s Second Single

Courtesy: Metal Blade Recprds

Artillery has released another single from its upcoming album.

The band debuted the single ‘Crossroads to Conspiracy‘ on Wednesday.  The song is the second single that the band has released from the forthcoming LP, The Face of Fear, which is currently scheduled for release Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records. It is the band’s ninth full-length studio recording.

‘Crossroads To Conspiracy’ comes a little more than a month after the band debuted the album’s lead single and title track, and almost a month after the band debuted that single’s video.

Guitarist Michael Stutzer said in an interview that the song is familiar territory for the band and its fans. He added that the song’s lyrical theme centers on the issue of people’s hypocrisy and the related consequences thereof.

“‘Crossroads to Conspiracy’ was one of the very last songs we crafted, and it’s a hard-hitting melodic thrash metal song with the typical Artillery riffing,” Stutzer said. “The lyrics are about how you have been cursed by the wrong choices you’ve made.  “The wrongdoings of others, that you used to condemn others for, have been committed by yourself.”

The Face of Fear will be available on limited edition digipack with two bonus tracks, 180-gram black vinyl and four separate limited edition colored vinyl pressings.  Their details are noted below.

–opaque grey blue marbeld vinyl (ltd. 300 – EU-exclusive)
–golden yellow blue marbled vinyl (ltd. 200 – EU-exclusive)
–blue green / white splattered vinyl (ltd. 100 – EMP-exclusive)
–blue/black marbled vinyl (ltd. 300 – US-exclusive)

Pre-orders are open now. The album’s track listing is noted below.

The Face Of Fear track-listing:
1. The Face of Fear
2. Crossroads To Conspiracy
3. New Rage
4. Sworn Utopia
5. Through The Ages Of Atrocity
6. Thirst For The Worst
7. Pain
8. Under Water (instumental)
9. Preaching to the converted

10. Mind Of No Return (ltd. 1st ed. bonus track / re-recorded song from Artillery‘s first demo from 1982)
11. Doctor Evil (ltd. 1st ed. bonus track / 2018 version)

More information on The Face of Fear is available online now along with all of Artillery’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.artillery.dk

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/artillerymetal

 

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.