Amon Amarth Impresses Once Again On Its 12th Album, ‘The Great Heathen Army’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Veteran Viking metal outfit Amon Amarth is set to release its latest album, The Great Heathen Army very in less than a week through its longtime label home Metal Blade Records.  Scheduled for release Aug. 5, the 9-song record will come more than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Berserker.  The 43-minute presentation is everything that Amon Amarth fans have come to expect from the band both musically and lyrically.  At the same time, the record’s musical content actually shows some growth from the band this time out.  The record’s musical and lyrical content will each receive their own examinations here.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined here.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make The Great Heathen Army one more of the greatest of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army, the 12th new album from Amon Amarth, is another largely successful offering from the veteran metal outfit that has made a career of making songs about Vikings.  The record’s appeal comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The very first thing that the band’s established audiences will note through the record’s nine total arrangements is that they are not all the same semi-symphonic/death metal approach that the band has taken in so many of its albums.  Right from the record’s outset, its lead single, ‘Get in the Ring,’ the band takes more of a modern hard rock/metal approach.  It is a notable change of sound and style for the band considering the compositions that the band has crafted over its decades-long career.  It is just one of the songs that shows that branching out, too.  Late in the record in ‘Saxons and Vikings,’ the band goes in a vintage hard rock style approach, even bringing in famed Accept/U.D.O. front man Udo Dirkschneider to add to the mix.  Just as interesting is that the band does make sure to include some of its more familiar death metal riffs to mix things up a little bit along the way.  The pairing of those leanings together, complete with a powerhouse solo, makes this song’s arrangement yet another standout addition to the record that continues to show the band’s musical growth this time out.  The band offers up a little more of that vintage hard rock leaning in the record’s closer, ‘The Serpent’s Trail.’  The way in which the guitars are used here almost mimics some string arrangements, and the classical guitar approach here along the way just adds that much more to the record.  It is just one more way in which the musical arrangements feature in this record show their value to the album’s presentation.  When these arrangements are considered along with the works that lean more in the band’s familiar sounds and styles, the whole makes The Great Heathen Army a presentation that succeeds if only through its musical content.

The musical content that is featured in The Great Heathen Army is just part of what makes the album worth hearing.  The lyrical content that accompanies that musical content makes for its own appeal.  That is because it is far more familiar to those noted established audiences.  From ‘Oden Owns You All’ to Saxons and Vikings’ to ‘The Serpent’s Trail’ and more, the themes featured in the record’s lyrics all center on the familiar topics of all things Norse and Vikings.  Now there are a couple of sings – ‘Get In The Ring’ and ‘Find A Way Or Make One’ – that do break that mold.  ‘Find A Way Or Make One’ delivers an all too familiar but always welcome message of pushing through life’s difficulties.  This is clear as front man Johan Hegg sings here, “Stand tall/And fight/The world will quake/Stand tall/And fight/I will never break.”  Some of the lyrics are a little difficult cult decipher fully sans lyrics, but he also makes note here of fighting the battle when all hope is lost and gone.  This is, again, a powerful and familiar message, especially as he adds that he will not kneel, no matter what the odds.  Yet again, here is more proof of the song’s message of personal strength.  The battles and situations do not necessarily have to be warfare, but just personal battles.  To that end, again, this familiar message is just as welcome from the band here as from any other band.  What’s more, that it is set here alongside so much other more familiar content shows growth, lyrically from the band. 

‘Get In The Ring’ meanwhile is actually a song for one of the rising stars of All Elite Wrestling (AEW).  It is fitting that it was crafted for a pro wrestler, as its lyrical theme is in fact a fight song.  It is an anthem that could and will get anyone pumped up who has ever been done wrong by someone.  It is that challenge to those people who would stand in our way metaphorically or lyrically.  To that end, it is another familiar lyrical theme in general that shows in its own way, why the lyrical themes in record are just as appealing as the album’s musical content.  All things considered the record’s lyrical content pairs with its companion musical content to make the album’s overall content a strong foundation for the presentation.  It is just one part of what makes the album so appealing.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into The Great Heathen Army is important to its presentation because of its role in the record’s general effect.  Every song in this record is loud and heavy.  Each work is so rich because of the pairing of the instrumentations and vocals.  Thanks to the time and effort that went into the production, no one part overpowers the others (including the vocals) at any one point in the album.  That is, again, due to the production.  Every part of each song is so powerful, leading each work to be fully immersive.  The result is that the album proves just as successful in its aesthetic presentation as in its content.  When all of this is considered together, the whole of The Great Heathen Army becomes one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army, the 12th new album from veteran metal outfit Amon Amarth, is another strong new offering from the band that will entertain the band’s established audiences just as much as metal fans in general.  That is evidenced in part through the record’s musical content.  The arrangements featured throughout the album are familiar, but also show a certain level of growth.  The band tries its hand at some vintage hard rock and metal styles as well as some more mainstream sounding heavy rock at points throughout the record.  That diversity offers audiences something “old” and something “new” which along the way makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical content is just as important to its presentation.  That is because of its overall familiarity, too.  There are plenty of Viking themes once again, along with some themes of overcoming diversity, which the band has handled less, but is still familiar in the rock and metal communities.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the presentation, ensuring that the best of each song is brought out from one work to another.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make the album overall another welcome offering from Amon Amarth that belongs among the best of the year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records. Amon Amarth will hit the road this fall in support of its new, forthcoming album. The band will launch the “The Great Heathen Tour” November 11 in Las Vegas, NV in support of the record.

 The tour features support from Carcass, Obituary, and Cattle Decapitation, and is expected to run through Dec. 17 in Los Angeles, CA and also features scheduled performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH and Seattle, WA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Amon Amarth
THE GREAT HEATHEN TOUR
US HEADLINE RUN W/ CARCASS, OBITUARY AND CATTLE DECAPITATION
Friday, November 11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
Saturday, November 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theater
Monday, November 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
Tuesday, November 15 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Wednesday, November 16 – Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom
Friday, November 18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Saturday, November 19 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Sunday, November 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Tuesday, November 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, November 23 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Friday, November 25 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
Saturday, November 26 – Chicago, IL @ The Aragon Ballroom
Sunday, November 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady Music Center
Wednesday, November 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE**
Thursday, Dec 01 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Friday, Dec 02 – Toronto, ON @ History
Saturday, Dec 03 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Monday, Dec 05 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
Tuesday, Dec 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, Dec 07- Kansas City, MO @ Uptown
Friday, Dec 09 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
Saturday, Dec 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Monday, Dec 12 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Tuesday, Dec 13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Thursday, Dec 15 – Wheatland, CA @ Hard Rock Live
Friday, Dec 16 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Saturday, Dec 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Kia Forum

*No Carcass
** Non-Live Nation date

The new fall U.S. dates will follow a European run with Machine Head, that is scheduled to run from Sept. 8 in Nottingham, UK to Oct. 22 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Halo Effect is also scheduled to take part in the tour, dubbed the “Vikings and Lionhearts Tour 2022.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

More information on Amon Amarth’s new album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/amonamarthband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Amon Amarth Announces New Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth will hit the road this fall in support of its new, forthcoming album, The Great Heathen Army.

The band announced Tuesday, it will launch the “The Great Heathen Tour” November 11 in Las Vegas, NV in support of the record, which is scheduled for release Aug. 5 through Metal Blade Records. The tour features support from Carcass, Obituary, and Cattle Decapitation, and is expected to run through Dec. 17 in Los Angeles, CA and also features scheduled performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH and Seattle, WA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Amon Amarth
THE GREAT HEATHEN TOUR
US HEADLINE RUN W/ CARCASS, OBITUARY AND CATTLE DECAPITATION
Friday, November 11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
Saturday, November 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theater
Monday, November 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
Tuesday, November 15 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Wednesday, November 16 – Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom
Friday, November 18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Saturday, November 19 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Sunday, November 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Tuesday, November 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, November 23 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Friday, November 25 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
Saturday, November 26 – Chicago, IL @ The Aragon Ballroom
Sunday, November 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady Music Center
Wednesday, November 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE**
Thursday, Dec 01 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Friday, Dec 02 – Toronto, ON @ History
Saturday, Dec 03 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Monday, Dec 05 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
Tuesday, Dec 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, Dec 07- Kansas City, MO @ Uptown
Friday, Dec 09 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
Saturday, Dec 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Monday, Dec 12 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Tuesday, Dec 13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Thursday, Dec 15 – Wheatland, CA @ Hard Rock Live
Friday, Dec 16 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Saturday, Dec 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Kia Forum

*No Carcass
** Non-Live Nation date

The new fall U.S. dates will follow a European run with Machine Head, that is scheduled to run from Sept. 8 in Nottingham, UK to Oct. 22 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Halo Effect is also scheduled to take part in the tour, dubbed the “Vikings and Lionhearts Tour 2022.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

The announcement of Amon Amarth’s new tour came less than a week after the band debuted the second single from its new album, which is also the album’s title track. The band debuted the song and its video July 7. The band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Get In The Ring‘ and its companion video June 2.

The track listing for The Great Heathen Army is noted below.

AMON AMARTH
The Great Heathen Army
Track Listing
1. Get In the Ring
2. The Great Heathen Army
3. Heidrun
4. Oden Owns You All
5. Find a Way or Make One
6. Dawn of Norsemen
7. Saxons and Vikings
8. Skagul Rides With Me
9. The Serpent’s Trail

More information on Amon Amarth’s new tour, single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/amonamarthband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Killswitch Engage Debuts ‘As Sure As The Sun Will Rise’ Live Clip

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch Engage released its new live recording, Live at the Palladium Friday, and with it, another live clip taken from the recording.

The band premiered the live clip of its performance of ‘As Sure As The Sun Will Rise‘ Friday. The clips is the third from the new recording behind clips of ‘Know Your Enemy‘ and ‘Vide Infra.’

The song is a heavy composition that has all of the trademarks of the band’s works throughout its life. The fire in its arrangement is enough reason for audiences to take in the song. The balance of the screams and clean vocals add even more to the presentation.

Front man Jesse Leach talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“This song was an uplifting song for me as soon as I heard the demo,” Leach said. It’s about spiritual redemption and hope amidst this troubled world. It’s a call to arms for those who seek a just and righteous path in this life. The message is fight through the darkness and perils to overcome the war of spirit and flesh.”

Live at the Palladium is available to order and stream here. More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/kseofficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Amon Amarth Announces New Album Details; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Video; European Tour Planned

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth will tentatively release its new album this summer.

The band announced Thursday, it is scheduled to release its new album, The Great Heathen Army Aug. 5 through Metal Blade Records. In anticipation of the record’s pending release, the band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Get In The Ring‘ and its companion video Thursday.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Get In The Ring’ is a slight departure for the band, considering its familiar brand of death metal compositions. In the case of this song, the arrangement is more spit-shined for lack of better wording, than its existing songs. It has less of the somewhat symphonic elements that are so commonplace in most of the band’s catalog, though does still incorporate that element here, just more subtly.

The lyrical theme featured in the band’s new single also seems to be something of a departure for the band. In place of the familiar Viking conquest tales, the band instead has presented what comes across as simply an adrenaline-fueled fight song. According to guitarist Olavi Mikkonent, the song was written as an entrance theme for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star Erik Redbeard.

That fight theme is amplified through the song’s video, which puts the band in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style setting, performing its new single in a bunker setting as a group of fighters face off against each other. There are some Viking weapons incorporated into the visualization, but their presence is even minimalized here. It makes for even more interest in this case.

The track listing for The Great Heathen Army is noted below. The record was produced by Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Fozzy, Dream Theater). Audiences will notice in the track listing that the band’s most recent single, ‘Put Your Back Into The Oar,’ which debuted Feb. 17, is not included in the track listing. Why that is the case is left to ponder.

AMON AMARTH
The Great Heathen Army
Track Listing
1. Get In the Ring
2. The Great Heathen Army
3. Heidrun
4. Oden Owns You All
5. Find a Way or Make One
6. Dawn of Norsemen
7. Saxons and Vikings
8. Skagul Rides With Me
9. The Serpent’s Trail

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

In other news, Amon Amarth is scheduled to launch a European tour in support of its new album album Sept. 8 in Nottingham, UK. The tour, whose schedule is noted below, is set to run through Oct. 22 in Stuttgart, Germany. Machine Head and The Halo Effect are scheduled to join Amon Amarth for the tour.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

More information on Amon Amarth’s new single, video, album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/amonamarthband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

‘Live At The Palladium’ Is A Successful New Offering from Killswitch Engage

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Live music is finally back in full swing as it seems like the COVID-19 pandemic is finally nearing its end.  Festivals are planned and happening, as are live shows in general.  A year ago this time though, things were still a little bit in the air.  Because of that, a lot of acts out there were still tentative about playing live, leading them to still hold some livestream performances instead of live stage shows.  Killswitch Engage was one of those many acts that took to the virtual stage instead of a full live setting.  The band performed a full two-album set Aug. 6 at the Palladium Theater in the band’s hometown of Worcester, MA.  This Friday, the band will release that performance on separate 2 CD/BD, 2 LP, and digital platforms in the form of Live at the Palladium.  While it is not necessarily a full, true live recording in the purest sense of the term, the recording is still a presentation that will appeal to any of the band’s most devoted fans and those of the metalcore genre.  That is due in no small part to the show’s set list.  This item will be addressed shortly.  The band’s performance of the extensive set list is just as notable as the set list itself and will be examined a little later.  The show’s production round out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make Live at the Palladium a successful new live offering from Killswitch Engage.

Live at the Palladium, Killswitch Engage’s forthcoming “live” recording, is a mostly successful offering from the band.  That is the case even though it is not necessarily a full live show in the purest sense of the term.  The recording’s success comes in large part through its featured set list.  The set list, composed of 20 songs, covers two of the band’s albums – the band’s self-titled 2000 debut album, and its 2019 album, Atonement.  Bands performing full performances of one album is increasingly commonplace.  To that end, it makes the set list seem less impacting.  The thing is, again though, the band takes on not just one of its albums, but two of its works.  Those works offer audiences a look at the band’s early days and its more recent era.  Given, Atonement was followed up in 2020 with the EP, Atonement II, but Atonement is in fact the band’s most recent album.  To that end, the band presents here, a look at its past and present in these two albums.  Keeping that in mind, the set list gives audiences not just two full albums but two albums that display the band’s past and present together in one setting.  That in itself forms a strong foundation for the record.  It is just part of what makes the record worth experiencing.  The band’s performance of the extensive set list adds its own share of engagement and entertainment to the mix.

The band’s performance of its set list is powerful to say the least.  Even being in a semi-live environment, is engaging and entertaining in its own right.  The band gives its all, using the situation just as if it was a full live performance, even though the audiences were digital instead of in person.  Front man Jesse Leach is just as imposing as he makes his way back and forth across the stage, half screaming, half singing. His vocals are as powerful as ever.  Meanwhile his band mates each perform their respective parts just as impressively.  Justin Foley is so intense as he provides the rhythm to each song along with bassist Mike D’Antonio.  Meanwhile the duel guitar approach of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel adds its own share of power throughout.  Even being only a semi-live setting, the collective treats each song as if it was in front of a live audience, making the experience all the more engaging and entertaining.  When the group’s performance is considered collectively from one song to the next, it makes the record all the more memorable.  Together with the set list, the two elements make the overall presentation all the more engaging and entertaining, too.  They are just part of what makes the recording worth experiencing.  The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the concert is important because again, even being semi-live, the sound and video are fully immersive.  The crowd noise is not there to work through, but the band’s own performance is still there. The acoustics of the venue still have to be taken into account in their own right since there is no crowd there to absorb the sound.  The work that went into balancing all of the sound paid off, as every performance sounds so rich.  No one part overpowers the others at any point throughout the concert.  The end result is that the recording proves fully immersive, and in turn engaging and entertaining.  When this aspect of Live at the Palladium is considered along with the show’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole makes the performance one more of the year’s top new live recordings.

Killswitch Engage’s new live recording, Live at the Palladium, is a strong new offering from the veteran metalcore band.  It will impress the band’s established audience base as well as casual metalcore fans alike.  That is due in part to its featured set list.  The set list is composed of not one but two full albums, the band’s 2000 self-titled debut record and the band’s latest album, Atonement.  The presentation is that of the band’s past and present in one.  The band’s performance of the set list makes for its own appeal.  That is because the band in whole takes the entire concert as seriously as if it was a full live performance.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements, ensuring that the best is brough out of each song’s performance.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record’s presentation.  All things considered they make the recording one of the year’s top new live recordings overall.

Live at the Palladium is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records.  More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/kseofficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Release Date, Details Announced For New Fates Warning Biography

Courtesy: FYI Press/Radical Research

A new biography of Fates Warning is planned for release this summer.

Destination Onward — The Story of Fates Warning is scheduled for release July 15 through FYI Press and Radical Research. The 400 page biography was assembled by author/journalist Jeff Wagner and will feature 176 black-and-white photos and 56 color pictures to accompany the band’s story.

The biography was crafted through interviews with members of the band past and present and overs the band’s infancy, going all the way back to its infancy as the band Misfit in 1983 and goes right through to the release of the band’s opus, ‘The Last Song.’ The interviews featured throughout the book include and are not limited to those with members of Dream Theater, Steel Prophet, While Heaven Wept, Metal Blade Records head Brian Slagel, and InsideOut Music head Thomas Waber.

“This book was a total labor of love,” said Wagner. “I tried to construct the kind of document that I, as a massive Fates fan, would want to read. As with my other books, I labored over every detail, no matter how tiny, to ensure everything is as high quality as possible, from research to printing materials and everything in between. It was a pure pleasure to have the cooperation of the guys in Fates Warning, from the last lineup to all the enthusiastic ex-members too. I’m proud that this book will stand as a document of the band’s legacy, celebrating the artistic achievements all us Fates freaks hold dear.”

More information on Wagner’s new Fates Warning biography is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.fateswarning.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/fateswarning

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Master Boot Record’s Latest LP Is Sure To Be A “Personal” Favorite For Many Audiences

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Electronic music act Master Boot Record is scheduled to release its new album, Personal Computer Friday through Metal Blade Records.  The brainchild of Victor Love, the record will come less than two years after the release of the then latest MBR record, which was the soundtrack to the video game, Virtuaverse.  This latest offering from Love is another strong record from beginning to end.  Its two current singles, ‘80836’ and ‘80486DX’.  They are just two of the songs that serve to show what makes the album worth hearing.  ‘80386,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength and will be discussed shortly.  ‘80486,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another example of what audiences have to anticipate in hearing the album.  It will be examined a little later.  ‘80686,’ the album’s finale is yet another example of the album’s strength and will also be examined later.  Each song noted here does its own share to make Personal Computer worth hearing.  When they are considered along with the album’s singles and other entries, the whole of that content makes the album yet another of the best of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Personal Computer, the forthcoming latest album from Victor Love’s Master Boot Record project, is an enjoyable addition to his catalog under that moniker.  As noted, each of its singles does well to make that clear.  They are just part of what makes the album worth hearing.  ‘80386,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the record.  The composition stands out because while it bears all of the stylistic trademarks of the songs featured in the Virtuaverse soundtrack (and much of Love’s MBR catalog), there are some unique touches added to the song.  The unique touch to this composition comes in the more melodic approach that Love takes.  Instead of the heavier compositions that he uses at points throughout the album, this one incorporates more synthesized strings and general melody.  In all honestly, one could even argue that some of the chromatic runs that Love uses in the “verse” sections almost have a power metal style approach.  Yes, there is some heaviness in the bridge, but for the most part, this song boasts more of a melodic approach along with that almost power metal approach.  Taking that blend of styles into account, it makes the composition in whole its own unique addition to the album that is just one of the record’s notable entries.  ‘80486,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another of the record’s high points.

‘80486’ also boasts its own unique touch even with the familiar electronic approach.  In the case of this song, it opens with an approach with an almost goth type approach.  Listeners familiar with said genre can easily place the organ type arrangement in those opening bars, that are a perfect fit for any goth composition.  The chromatic run in the song’s bridge adds even more to that goth sense, what with it being played in minor key to boot.  That element, paired with Love’s familiar electronic leaning, makes the song in whole a work that is wholly unique of the album’s other entries and another example of what makes Personal Computer another engaging and entertaining offering from Master Boot Record.

‘80686,’ the album’s closer, is yet another composition that stands out in this record.  The song opens with what is meant to be a harpsichord, giving the song a distinct classical approach in its opening bars.  The simple, subdued approach, which leads into a much heavier sound as the song progresses.  The thing is that the classical influence continues throughout the song as it continues, building on what audiences get in the opening bars, making for even more engagement and entertainment.  What audiences get is a deeply moving finale for Love’s new album that gives it one last welcome accent on its way out.  When it is considered with the other songs examined here, as well as with the album’s singles and other songs, the whole of that content makes Personal Computer another successful outing for Love that metal fans and those of electronic music alike will appreciate.

Personal Computer, the latest studio recording from Master Boot Record, is another strong offering from its creator, Victor Love.  That is proven from beginning to end, as its singles have already shown.  The songs examined here do just as well to make that clear, too.  When all of that content is considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Personal Computer a work that is sure to be a personal favorite for many audiences.

Personal Computer is available now. More information on the album is available online along with all of Master Boot Record’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://masterbootrecord.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/masterbootrecordmusic

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Motor Sister’s Sophomore LP Is One Of This Year’s Top New Rock Albums So Far

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Rock super group Motor Sister released its sophomore record (and first of original content) Friday through Metal Blade Records in the form of Get Off.  The 12-song record is a presentation that any rock purist will find enjoyable.  The three singles that the record has already produced – ‘Can’t Get High Enough,’ ‘Right There, Just Like That,’ and ‘Coming For You’ — do well in themselves to make that clear.  They are just a sample of what makes the album successful.  There are plenty of other songs featured throughout the album that make clear why it is engaging and entertaining.  ‘Sooner Or Later,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the record.  It will be examined shortly.  ‘Lion’s Den,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, is another notable entry and will be discussed a little later.  The energetic, penultimate entry that is ‘Time’s Up’ is yet another strong addition to Get Off and will also be examined later.  Each song noted is important in its own right to the whole of the album.  When they are considered along with the album’s singles and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes the album overall a strong new offering from Motor Sister that every rock purist will appreciate.

Get Off, the second record from rock super group Motor Sister (and the album’s first full collection of original songs), is an impressive new offering from the band.  Its musical and lyrical content alike make that clear, as has been evidenced through its singles.  They are just some of the songs that make the album engaging and entertaining.  ‘Sooner Or Later,’ which comes early in the album, is another way in which the album shows its strength.  The song stands out because it is so much unlike its counterparts in its musical arrangement.  Where so much of the album’s musical content is high-energy in its approach, this song is more reserved and contemplative.  The simple guitar line used in the verses immediately lends itself to comparison to works from King’s X while the choruses, what with the harmonies presented in the vocals of Jim Wilson and Pearl Aday, are more akin to the rock ballads of the late 1980s.  The two styles are similar, but still different from one another, and the way in which they come together here makes the whole surprisingly engaging and entertaining.  The mood set through the song’s musical arrangement works well to help illustrate the seeming theme in the song’s lyrics.

The seeming lyrical theme featured in ‘Sooner Or Later’ comes across as focusing on accepting one’s mistakes and past, and moving forward.  That is just this critic’s interpretation.  The interpretation comes as Wilson sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “It was the first mistake that you ever made/It was the worst mistake that you’ll ever make/Sometimes you can’t believe it could happen to you/But I say/You were the last mistake that I’ll ever make/Sooner or later/Something’s gotta give…Sooner or later/Forget and forgive/Sooner or later/You learn how to live again.”  It is hinted at even more in the second verse as he sings, “It’s a heavy dose of pride that you are gonna have to swallow/When you’re free from the past/The rest is gonna have to follow/Sometimes you don’t believe that the change is ever gonna come/Just like a slap in the face/You don’t know which way it’s gonna come from.”  Again, this seems to hint at learning to accepting what happens and what has happened in life and moving on past what has happened.  As if that is not enough proof, the song’s third and final verse adds even more to the inference, as Wilson sings, “You wake up one morning and you find you’re in a dark place/The memories come crawling again through your headspace/Right outside your window/The wind is blowing far/While you’re alive/It’s hard to survive…”  There is a little bit that is difficult to decipher without lyrics to reference.  That aside, enough is understandable here that once more, the theme here seems to be that of accepting what has happened and not dwelling on it.  Once again, if in fact that is the case, then it certainly serves as an inspiration for plenty of audiences.  Keeping that in mind with the semi-somber mood in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of this song proves itself to be its own impressive addition to the album in whole, proving just as much as the album’s singles, what makes the album worth hearing.

‘Lion’s Den,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, is another key addition to the album.  Its musical arrangement is in direct contrast to that of ‘Sooner Or Later.’  In the case of this song, it is a rich, heavy composition that immediately lends itself to comparison to works from Alter Bridge.  That is proven through the song’s instrumentation and vocals alike.  Interestingly enough, that is mainly exhibited in the song’s verses.  The choruses on the other hand, conjure thoughts more of Ozzy Osbourne.  Yes, this makes for its own unique presentation, but that presentation works so well in its own right.  It is just part of what makes the song engaging and entertaining.  The song’s lyrical content makes for its own share of interest.

Wilson, sounding just like Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy, sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “There’s a clock on the wall/I don’t think I’ll ever dream again…I can’t make no sense of anything/You laughing at me/Watch me bleed/You’re standing around/Watching me suffer…Eventually I have to succumb to it/Crying all alone again/Join me in the requiem/Right back where I’ve always been/Sleeping in the lion’s den.”  Wilson continues in the song’s second verse, “Wait/Right here in the back/She hooked me like crack/Left me weak…from the attack…the system has failed…”There is a lot here that is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference.  From what can be deciphered just from a close listen, it would seem that the theme here hints at someone who is going through the same cycle of negativity over and over again, not breaking that cycle.  That person seems to be lashing out at those around who just stand there watching it all happen rather than try to help.  Again, this is all just this critic’s interpretation and could be completely off.  Regardless, the discussions that are certain to happen as a result of the song’s lyrics makes for its own positive.  The seeming theme works well with the fire and energy in the song’s musical arrangement, making all the more important, the song in whole.

‘Time’s Up,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is one more example of what makes Get Off well worth hearing.  That is due in part because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement here boasts its own powerful identity.  Right off the bat, the arrangement featured in this two minute, 49 second song lends itself to comparison to some of the best works from KISS in terms of its sound and stylistic approach.  It is a fun, energetic composition that is certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained from start to end.  The fire and energy in the original composition works quite well with the song’s lyrical theme, which centers on a woman who is telling a man he’d better make a choice, but not necessarily in a bad sense.  This is a woman who definitely wants the guy, so even here, the KISS comparison is there, as KISS has crafted very similar songs in its catalog.

The clear theme comes right from the song’s lead verse as Wilson sings, “Well it was getting late/But the hand of fate said wait, not yet/Ordered another round/She tracked me down/And said, Hey, where you been?/The clock on the wall all messed up/I couldn’t believe my luck/She said, meet me in the parking lot/Don’t be late or you really suck/She said, Time’s up/You comin’ or are you stayin’?/Time’s up/What’s it gonna be?/I’m waiting for an answer now/You’re comin’ home with me.”  The rest of the song follows in similar fashion.  This is a woman who has completely taken over a man, and it is celebrating that woman, too.  To that end, there is no need to go from there.  That clear message alongside the energy in the song’s musical arrangement makes this song a surefire hit for Motor Sister in its own right.  To that end, this song proves itself yet another unique addition to Get Off.  When it is considered with the other songs examined here and with the album’s and with the rest of its entries, the whole proves the album a complete success.

Get Off, the sophomore record from rock super group Motor Sister, is an impressive new offering from the group.  Its musical and lyrical content alike make that clear.  The musical and lyrical content featured throughout the album is unique from one song to the next, ensuring audiences get something different in each song.  The album’s current singles each do well to make that clear, as do the songs examined here.  When all of that content is considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes just one more of the best new rock albums of the year so far.

Get Off is available through Metal Blade Records. More information on Motor Sister’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.metalblade.com/motorsister

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/motorsister

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MotorSister

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Killswitch Engage Debuts ‘Vide Infra’ Clip

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch gave audiences another preview of its forthcoming live recording this week.

The preview came Thursday in the form of the live clip of the song, ‘Vide Infra.’ It is the second clip from the band’s forthcoming live recording, Live at the Palladium, which is scheduled for release June 3 through Metal Blade Records. The band premiered the clip for the recording’s lead single, ‘Know Your Enemy‘ April 6.

Live at the Palladium will release separately on 2LP and 2CD/Blu-ray. Pre-orders are open. The recording features a full performance of the band’s 2019 album, Atonement, and its 2000 self-titled debut.

Front man Jesse Leach talked about ‘Vide Infra’ in a prepared statement.

“This song has stood the test of time for me, sonically and lyrically,” Leach said. “Sonically, it shows our hardcore roots and the blend of metal. Lyrically, it has words I still stand by and hold close to my beliefs. It’s one of my favorites from our early material!”

Live at the Palladium was recorded Aug. 6, 2021 as a livestream concert.

The track listing for KsE’s new live recording is noted below.

LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM TRACK LISTING:
“Unleashed”
“The Signal Fire”
“Us Against the World”
“The Crownless King”
“I Am Broken Too”
“As Sure as the Sun Will Rise”
“Know Your Enemy”
“Take Control”
“Ravenous”
“I Can’t Be the Only One”
“Bite the Hand that Feeds” 
“Temple From the Within”
“Vide Infra”
“Irreversal”
“Rusted Embrace”
“Prelude”
“Soilborn”
“Numb Sickened Eyes”
“In the Unblind”
“Just Barely Breathing”

More information on Killswitch Engage’s new live recording is available online now along with all of the band’s tour information at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/kseofficial

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lybica Premieres Double Single, ‘Palatial/Ferment’; Announces Upcoming Live Performance

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Hard rock collective Lybica, which features Killswitch Engage drummer Justin Foley on guitar, debuted a new double single this week.

The band premiered its double single, ‘Palatial/Ferment‘ Thursday. The songs are expected for inclusion in the band’s as yet untitled album, whose release date and other information is also under consideration.

Foley had the following to say of the songs.

“These tunes were two early ones that came together when we first started jamming, so it’s fitting that they’re the first songs we’re sharing with everyone. “I think they sum up what we’re all about, blending loud with soft, heavy with hooks.”

Both songs are full instrumental compositions. The ambient nature of the arrangements and their heaviness present elements of both post rock and post metal. At the same time, there is the most subtle element of melodic metalcore in ‘Palatial.’ The whole of the songs immediately lends them to comparison to early works from A Perfect Circle at the very least.

Lybica actually premiered the video for ‘Ferment’ Sept. 30. It features each of the band members — Joey Johson (guitar), Doug French (bass), Chris Lane (drums), and Foley on guitar — recording their parts to the song separately. One has to assume that is because the COVID-19 pandemic forced the song to be recorded as such at the time.

The video for ‘Palatial,’ which premiered Thursday,’ features the band together on a sound stage, performing its new single. That footage is blended with the visual of a skull being overwhelmed by red smoke.

In other news, Lybica is scheduled to perform live May 7 in Winter Park, FL.

More information on Lybica’s new double single, album, and concert is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/lybicaband.

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