Amon Amarth Completes ‘Berserker’ Video Trilogy; Continues Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth finished off the video trilogy from its latest album last week.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘Mjolner, Hammer of Thor‘ on May 31.  The song is the latest to come from the band’s new album Berserker, which was released May 3 through Metal Blade Records.

The video completes the trilogy that was started March 20 with the video for ‘Raven’s Flight‘ and continued with the video for the album’s second single, ‘Crack The Sky‘ on April 17.  The trilogy’s finale finds Amon Amarth leaving the club where it had performed and where an epic battle took place between the Berserker and a demonic female figure.  Before the Berserker can return to his realm, there is still one last battle between him and that evil demonic female.

Amon Amarth is touring in support of Berserker.  The band is scheduled to perform June 8 in Germany as part of the European leg of its tour.  That tour is scheduled to run through July 4.

Once the European leg of the tour wraps, the band will take the rest of the summer off before returning to North America for more live dates starting Sept. 26 in Seattle, WA.  That leg of the band’s worldwide tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 26 in Los Angeles, CA.  The tours’ schedules are noted below.

Summer European Festival Tour
June 6 – Sweden Rock – Solvesborg, Sweden
June 8 – Rock Im Park – Nuremberg, Germany
June 9 – Rock Am Ring – Nürburgring, Germany
June 11 – Incheba Expo – Bratislava, Slovakia
June 12 – Barba Negra Track – Budapest, Hungary
June 13 – Nova Rock – Nickelsdorf, Austria
June 14 – Greenfield – Interlaken, Switzerland
June 16 – Download UK – Donington, England
June 17 – King John’s Castle – Limerick, Ireland
June 20 – Knotfest at Hellfest – Clisson, France
June 21 – Graspop – Dessel, Belgium
June 22 – Copenhell – Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 – Mystic Fest Poland – Krakow, Poland
June 27 – Sonic Park – Bologna, Italy
June 29 – Download Madrid – Madrid, Spain
July 1 – Le Bikini – Toulouse, France
July 2 – La Belle Electrique – Grenoble, France
July 4 – Rock Harz Festival – Ballenstedt, Germany

Berserker World Tour – Raid Of North America tour dates
w/ Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, At The Gates, Grand Magus 

September 26 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
September 27 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
September 28 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Forum
September 30 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Convention Centre
October 1 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle
October 3 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
October 4 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
October 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater
October 7 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theater
October 9 – Toronto, ON – Rebel
October 10 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
October 11 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
October 12 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
October 13 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
October 15 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
October 16 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
October 18 – New Orleans, LA – The Fillmore
October 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
October 20 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre
October 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
October 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues
October 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
October 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Palladium

More information on Amon Amarth’s tour schedule, videos, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

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

‘Berserker’ Is Another Viking Metal Victory For Amon Amarth

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The wait for Amon Amarth’s new album is finally over.  A little more than three years after the band released its most recent album Jomsviking, the band returned Friday, with its 11th full-length studio recording, Berserker.  The veteran Swedish metal outfit’s latest offering, which once again has come through Metal Blade Records, is familiar territory for the band at least in terms of its lyrical content from start to finish.  Its musical content however, is another story.  Front man Johann Hegg said in a recent interview about the sound on the band’s new album Beserker that it is an exhibition of the band’s evolution as a unit.  “I think what we’ve done here is give ourselves the space to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band,” Hegg said of the sound on this record.  That growth is a welcome change from the band this time out, as it shows the band’s ability to reach a more mainstream audience instead of just its core audience base.  One of the songs featured in this record, that serves to illustrate that ability comes early on in the form of ‘Mjolner, Hammer of Thor.’  It will be discussed shortly.  The album’s finale, ‘Into The Dark’ is another way in which that growth and change is clearly evidenced.  It is also another positive addition to the album.  ‘Fafner’s Gold,’ which opens the album, is yet another way in which the noted growth is exemplified in this record.  When all three songs are considered together with the record of the album, the whole of Beserker presents itself as a record that while maybe rather familiar for most listeners, is still a welcome new offering from the band that is yet another candidate for any metal critic’s list of the year’s top new metal and hard rock albums.

Amon Amarth’s 11th full-length studio recording Berserker is a welcome new offering from the veteran metal outfit that critics and listeners alike will agree is deserving of its own spot on any list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  That is despite (and because) of the familiarity of the record’s lyrical themes.  It is also because of the growth exhibited by the band’s members in the record’s musical arrangements.  ‘Mjolner, Hammer of Thor’ is one of the songs featured in this record that exhibits the growth in the band’s musical side.  The song’s musical arrangement boasts a very sharp similarity to the arrangement at the center of Judas Priest’s timeless hit ‘Breaking The Law.’  The two arrangements are not mirror images of one another.  However, the similarity is close enough that there is no denying the connection.  Whether Amon Amarth’s guitarists – Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg – set out to make something so closely akin to ‘Breaking The Law’ is anyone’s guess.  That aside, the bigger picture is that the arrangement is far more accessible, musically, than almost anything that the band has previously crafted.  To that end, it is a surprise that it was not chosen as Berserker’s lead single.  The song’s decidedly radio ready arrangement is, as important as it is, is just one part of what makes the song a solid addition to the record.  The song’s familiar lyrical content adds its own share of interest to the song.

The song’s lyrical content focuses on the norse myth of how Thor’s famed hammer Mjolner was created.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “In the realm of Svartalvheim/Where master forgers reign/Loke met with Eitri and Brokk/With malice and deceit/he got them to agree/to create nine magic gifts for the Asa Gods/Brokkr had a sense of foul play in the air/So he made a wager for Loke’s head/Treasures will be forged for the Asagods/A spear and a ring for the Asgard King/But finest of them all/the Crusher it is called/Mjolner, Hammer of Thor/Loke’s treachery knows no boundaries/he his himself in the blacksmith’s caveBut as work progressed, he feared he’d lose his bet/He knew his situation was now grave/Working the bellows/Heating the forge/Striking the anvil/Striking with force/Then as they worked/On the last gift/A mighty hammer of war/Loke disrupted the work of the blacksmiths/The handle came out short.”  From here, Hegg tells the rest of the ancient Norse tale with Loke meeting not a fatal fate, but a not-so-happy fate, nonetheless.  It is a powerful tale that will entertain and engage any listener, regardless of his or her familiarity with the story of how Mjolner was created – or any Norse mythology.  When it is coupled with the song’s accessible arrangement, the whole exhibits itself as one of the most notable additions to this latest offering from Amon Amarth.  It is just one of the songs that stands out in this offering.  The album’s finale, ‘Into The Dark’ is another way in which that growth and change is clearly evidenced.

‘Into The Dark’ presents what is perhaps one of the biggest shifts that Amon Amarth has ever taken in its now 25 year-plus life.  Whereas so many of its songs are straight-forward, driving metal works, this opus starts and ends with a gentle piano line.  That line is complimented with the addition of a group of string musicians to help set the song’s mood.  As the song opens, that pairing eventually fades away, making room for the band’s own elements.  What is interesting in this case is that the guitar-driven arrangement boasts a certain old school metal sound at times alongside the more modern sound that audiences have come to expect from the band.  The whole of these elements makes the arrangement in whole, one more of the album’s most intriguing additions.  It is yet more proof of the change and growth in the band’s sound.  It is just one way in which the song exhibits that growth and change.  The song’s lyrical content, believe it or not, actually shows a certain amount of growth and change, too.

The song’s lyrical content shows a certain level of change in that the only Norse element comes late in one of the verses in which Hegg sings, “I am who I am/I am Loke to you.”  The rest of the song comes across more as one of those familiar showings of introspection; thoughts of overcoming personal adversity.  That is obvious right from the song’s outset as Hegg sings, “There is a darkness in my soul/A darkness that can’t be tamed/A deep void of emptiness/A gaping wound/A vile, corrupted entity/That has no name/From the dark into the light/I make this journey on my own/From the dark into the light/I make this journey on my own/From the dark into the light/I must fight this darkness all alone.”  He goes on in the song’s second verse to sing, “I try to do what is right/And still my twisted mind is full of spite/Each day a struggle/With this side of me/A losing battle/I can’t break free/No!/I can’t break free…”  From here he goes on to sing of the “demons” dragging the subject back into despair.  There are even brief Norse notes in this discussion, about “Dagas my guide/But Thurisas bides.”  So yes, the familiar Viking content is there, but in the bigger picture, this song seems lyrically, to be something of a change for the band.  Yes, the content is familiar in its discussion about dealing with inner emotional turmoil, but it is still a discussion that will resonate easily with listeners.  On top of all of that, the very fact that the band would go to the length of limiting the Norse content in favor of seemingly something more standard shows, again, that growth and change from the band.  All of that change considered, this song is one of Berserker’s most notable compositions, showing where the band very well could be headed.  It shows in its own way that whether the band is performing familiar songs centered on Viking lore or working on something more mainstream, it succeeds.  It is just one more of the songs featured in this record that stands out.  ‘Fafner’s Gold,’ which opens the album, is another standout addition to the album.

‘Fafner’s Gold’ opens with an element that while familiar to many metal bands today, is another element that is unfamiliar to Amon Amarth – an acoustic guitar introduction.  Arch Enemy and so many other similar metal acts have used such an approach to their songs throughout their catalogues, but Amon Amarth has rarely if ever taken that approach.  That intro leads very quickly, into the band’s familiar shredding and machine-gun-fast time keeping in a whole that longtime Amon Amarth fans will recognize and appreciate.  The composition in whole is certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained, and is just one part of what will entertain and engage listeners.  The song’s lyrical content does just as much to maintain that interest.

The song’s lyrical content tells the myth of…well…Fafner’s gold.  In doing research on the song, it is found that Fafner is one of the giants who built Valhalla, the Norse afterlife realm.  Fafner was turned into a dragon, according to the myth, after killing his own brother Fasolt after the pair takes the treasure of the dwarf Alberich.  Fafner was ultimately killed by Siegfried. The Icelandic version of the tale, which the band seems to be following here, actually presents Fafner (Fafnir in this case) as a dwarf instead of a giant.  In this version, Regin sent his foster son Sigurd to kill Fafnir in his dragon form.  The whole story can be read here.  What is so interesting to learn in researching the song is the variants thereof.  There is the noted Icelandic version and a Germanic version as well as one other take on the tale.  The variants within each telling are minor, but are there.  This version however, involves the familiar Norse mythology, including the mention of Loke and other Norse figures.  It sticks to everything that the band has done throughout its life.  It also serves to illustrate Hegg’s comment about the band’s approach to the album in whole.  “The previous album was a concept album, but we didn’t want to get into a situation where every album has to be a concept record, so this is different.  We wanted to step away from that and look at being a little bit more diverse with the lyrics and everything else.”  When this latest bit of Norse mythology is coupled with its equally familiar musical styling, the whole proves to be yet another positive addition to Berserker.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the nine remaining songs not directly discussed, the whole of the album becomes a work that Amon Amarth’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as those who might not be so familiar with the band’s work.

Amon Amarth’s new album Berserker is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band.  It is also a slight display of growth and development from the band, as evidenced in the songs noted here.  Those songs, when considered along with the rest of the album’s works, make Berserker another successful offering from the “Kings” of Viking metal and one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  The album is available now.  The band is now touring in support of the album, too.  The band’s tour includes a performance in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 15.  The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s 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.

Amon Amarth Debuts ‘Crack The Sky’ Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Crack The Sky‘ on Wednesday.  The video picks up where the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Raven’s Flight,’ left off. The crowd has officially entered the club where the band is performing, and the show is just as raucous as any Amon Amarth concert.

Of course the show has gotten a little more out of hand than expected as some otherworldly figures have invaded the concert and are causing some serious havoc.  Luckily, an expected hero is called in to help eliminate the unholy creatures.

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

‘Crack The Sky’ and ”Raven’s Flight’ are both taken from Amon Amarth’s forthcoming album Beserker. Beserker will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below. To pre-order Berserker, please visit amonamarth.lnk.to/berserker – where the album is available in the following formats:
–digipak-CD
–deluxe box set [digipak-CD, shield (~12″x12″), patch (~4″x4″) – limited to 500 copies in US]
–opaque white w/ black splatter vinyl (limited to 1200 copies)
–opaque white w/ silver haze vinyl (retail exclusive – limited to 1300 copies)
–clear w/ red splatter vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)
–black w/ red haze vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)

Beserker was recorded in Los Angeles, with Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) helming the project.  Front man Johann Hegg offered positive remarks about Beserker in a recent interview.

“For me, this is Amon Amarth 2.0,” Hegg said.  “I think what we’ve done here is given ourselves the spcae to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band.  If you’re content with where you’re at, what’s the point in continuing?  We always want to come up with new ideas and find new ways and doing things, and to create bigger and better shows, and really try to improve every aspect of what the band is.  We want to try to keep growing and to do this for as long as we have the possibility to do so, because this is the best fucking job in the world.”

Beserker‘s full track listing is noted below.

Berserker track-listing
1. Fafner’s Gold
2. Crack the Sky
3. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
4. Shield Wall
5. Valkyria
6. Raven’s Flight
7. Ironside
8. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
9. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark

Amon Amarth will join Slayer, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse on the road in May for an almost month-long tour to help say farewell to Slayer while also promoting Beserker.  The band’s run is scheduled to start May 2 and run through May 25, and to feature performances in cities, such as Huntington, WV; Tampa, Fla and Phoenix, AZ.  the tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Slayer “Leg Five: North America” tour dates
w/Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse

May 2 – Ak-Chin Amphitheatre – Phoenix, AZ
May 3 – Isleta Amphitheatre – Albuquerque, NM
May 5 – UTEP/Don Haskins Center – El Paso, TX
May 7 – Bert Ogden Arena – Edinburg, TX
May 8 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Dallas, TX
May 10 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
May 11 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL
May 13 – Big Sandy Superstore Arena – Huntington, WV
May 14 – Merriweasther Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
May 16 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Noblesville, IN
May 17 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS
May 19 – DTE Energy Music Center – Clarkston, MI
May 20 – Covel Centre – Youngstown, OH
May 22 – Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ON
May 24 – BB&T Pavilion – Camdel, NJ
May 25 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA

More information on Amon Amarth’s upcoming tour, album and video is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AmonAmarth

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.

Whitechapel Reaches Its Peak On ‘The Valley’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Reocrds

Change is something that is never easy in life.  Nor is bearing one’s heart about the past. Yet veteran metal outfit Whitechapel and its front man Phil Bozeman have done both of those things on the group’s latest album, The Valley.  Released March 29 through Metal Blade Records, the 10-song, 40 minute album’s musical arrangements show great change and growth from the band in terms of its sound.  The often painful recollections of Bozeman’s past, voiced in the song’s lyrical content, couples with those powerful arrangements to make The Valley a strong new offering from the Tennessee-based band.  The album’s latest single ‘Hickory Creek’ is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  ‘Doom Woods,’ the closer on the album’s standard edition release, is another example of the growth and power in this new album.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Black Bear,’ which comes just past the record’s midway point, is one more example of the growth and power that is evident in the album’s presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the seven other songs not directly noted here, the album in whole proves to be some of Whitechapel’s best work to date if not its best work to date.

Whitechapel’s seventh full-length studio recording The Valley is some of the veteran Tennessee-based deathcore band’s best work to date if not its best work to date.  That is because of the growth exhibited in the album’s musical arrangements and the power in its lyrical content.  The album’s latest single ‘Hickory Creek’ is just one of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s arrangement is perhaps the album’s single best example of that noted musical growth.  The melancholy vibe created by the guitars, Bozeman’s vocal delivery, the bass and drums echoes influences of Tool and Slipknot.  As the song reaches its peak and Bozeman presents his brief scream moment, that sound couples with the guitars for a sound that lends itself to comparisons to Dry Kill Logic.  That joining of so many other elements was a clear risk for the band, and a risk that paid off.  It makes this song one of the album’s strongest compositions.  As impressive as the song’s arrangement is, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content strengthens the foundation formed by the arrangement.

As has been noted previously by others, ‘Hickory Creek’ allegedly has a link to Bozeman’s relationship with his mother.  What is interesting is that it is difficult to know if this song is delivered from the vantage point of Bozeman as a kid, an adult looking back on himself as a kid or from that of his mother. That actually makes the song’s lyrical side that much more interesting.  Bozeman sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s so hard to let go/You can hear me but I’m invisible/But if you dig out your eyes/Maybe pain will subside/the worst that could happen is you never see me again/But the worst is yet to come, my friend.”  This is a painful statement.  On the one hand, one could imagine this is Bozeman’s mother, but at the same time, it could be a young Phil talking to his adult self as adult Phil looks back on his past.  That would seem to be the more likely scenario.  It is made even more likely as he sings in the song’s chorus, “This path I walk is comforting/But now I’m left to sing this song alone/I’m fading faster now.”  He sings in the song’s second verse, “I left so long ago/You never noticed I was gone/Now that you don’t have eyes/Maybe now you’ll realize/Within your own head/You’re creating these lies/For what it’s worth/You’re still beautiful/but beauty lies within the eyes.”  Here in this second verse, is someone who seems to be looking back on the past, again, and talking to that someone from the past, wishing some kind of connection could have been made so many years ago.  It is such a painfully powerful story, and when it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, becomes that much more powerful.  The two elements combine to show clearly why this song stands out as one of The Valley’s strongest entries, and by connection, as just one example of why The Valley is among Whitechapel’s best work yet.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Doom Woods’ shows just as much as ‘Hickory Creek’ why The Valley is such a notable new offering from Whitechapel.

‘Doom Woods’ stands out, as with ‘Hickory Creek,’ in part because of its musical arrangement.  Unlike so many of the songs featured in this album and the band’s past records, this song is not one of those all-too-familiar blast beat deathcore works.  Rather, it is more of a melodic death metal composition.  Yet even taking a more melodic sound this time out, there is still a certain heaviness that draws listeners in with ease.  In other words, it is a truly accessible composition despite (and because) it isn’t just another hyper speed deathcore work.  It maintains the heaviness of the band’s past and current sound, but in a different fashion, making it that much more notable.  While the song’s arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content serves to make it stand out, too.

Once again, the song’s lyrical content seems to focus on Bozeman’s childhood, but in a different fashion.  This time, the song seems to focus on the emotional trauma that Bozeman endured in yet another, but seemingly just as painful experience.  He sings in the song’s chorus, “They say don’t walk to the darker side/But where the light shines, the devil is alive/I’ve seen hell through a child’s eyes/And I know in time, the devil I will find/The devil I will find.”  This is a rather clear-cut statement.  This is Bozeman seemingly looking back, explaining that he has been through…well…hell, adding that thing that so many people call “the light” or the good side, is actually where evil resides.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “In time I will escape/But in this place, my soul remains encased/The leaves have swallowed the sun/My heart has reached absolute zero/I have no one left/Even my shadow has died on me/She’s gone and I want to disappear, disappear.”  That “she” is likely Bozeman’s mother, on whom he focuses quite a bit in this album.  There is even a mention in the song’s third verse, of a young Bozeman being taken “from his mother’s hands,” with the song’s subject telling Bozeman’s mother, “Don’t you cry for him now…turn this young boy to a man/Now his destiny’s found.”  It is another of the record’s most powerful stories that invokes so much emotion.  That is just as much the case when these hard-hitting lyrics are joined with the song’s musical arrangement.  The two elements together make ‘Doom Woods’ stand out in its own right in the best way possible.  It also is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  “Black Bear’ is one more of the works that shows the growth and depth of the band’s overall content in this album.

Whereas ‘Doom Woods’ and ‘Hickory Creek’ are so powerful because of the subtleties in their arrangements, ‘Black Bear’ stands out because it is not so subtle.  Rather, this song is a rather intense work.  It starts off some meditative (for lack of better wording) but wastes little time in picking up and launching into a full-on grind/deathcore hybrid arrangement.  The heavy, crunching down-tuned guitars and bass couple with Bozeman’s trademark guttural cookie monster growl to create a sound that will impress even the most hardcore metal head.  That is because it hits listeners like that proverbial ton of bricks and refuses to let up right to the song’s end.  That arrangement is familiar stylistically, but also shows its own certain amount of growth from the band.  To that end, it is yet another example of the growth from the band this time out.  It is just one of the song’s most important elements.  Its lyrical content adds even more strength to its presentation.

Bozeman noted in a recent interview that while not entirely biographical, this song’s lyrical content is loosely based on the impact of his stepfather on his mother.  He does not come right out and say what happened, but allegedly, the impact was notably negative.  That impact is voiced powerfully through Bozeman’s lyrics here, as he sings, “He has come for the blood of my only son/I can sense his heartbeat slowly fade/The sound of my voice is his way to me/I buried my tongue with my family’s bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Sleep my son/Feel my embrace/Please don’t forget my love/As the bullet goes through his brain/I wake up to live it again and again/As I lay me down to sleep/I pray the Lord to put me six feet deep.”  This comes across as a woman who is going through so much emotional pain.  It comes across as inferring this is someone who did something heinous, but out of love for her own child, and the guilt of what she had done made her wish for her own death.  Again, Bozeman stressed the story here is only loosely based on the situation with his mother and stepfather.  Even with that in mind, the song still invokes so much emotion in yet another way.  The power of that emotion is something that will stick with listeners just as much as the emotion expressed in the other songs noted here and throughout the rest of the album.  When it is considered along with the mix of anger and sadness expressed in the song’s musical arrangement, it makes the song in whole that much more powerful and obvious as one of the album’s most notable entries.  When that whole is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole displays The Valley as Whitechapel at or near its peak.

Whitechapel’s seventh full-length studio recording The Valley is one of the band’s best works to date if not its best work yet.  That is because of the obvious time and thought put into the creation of each song, both musically and lyrically.  From start to finish, there is not one bad moment.  The emotion invoked by the album’s musical arrangements shows a wonderful coordination between both elements in each song.  That is just as evident in the songs noted here as in those note directly addressed.  Simply put, that time and thought exhibited in each work makes every song its own high point.  The end result is a record that puts Whitechapel at its peak if not very close to its peak.  The Valley is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news, tour dates and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.whitechapelband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/whitechapelband

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment 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 ‘Hickory Creek’ Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Reocrds

Whitechapel debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘Hickory Creek,’ which is featured in the band’s new album The Valley.  The powerful new video, which is in memory of Theresa Leslie Bozeman — front man Phil Bozeman’s mother — debuted Wednesday.

The video follows what is inferred to be a young Phil and his mother following a violent motor vehicle collision following the pair’s fleeing from a seemingly very bad situation at their home.  The song is just as dramatic in its musical approach, presenting a side of the band that has rarely, if ever, been displayed.

The video for ‘Hickory Creek’ is just the latest video to premiere from The Valley.  The band premiered the video for its most recent single ‘When A Demon Defiles A Witch‘ on Feb. 20.

The band debuted the record’s third single ‘Third Depth‘ Jan. 15.  ‘Black Bear‘ and ‘Brimstone‘ preceded its debut on Dec. 13 and Nov. 1 respectively.

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‘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

The album is available now 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!

Whitechapel will tour in support of The Valley this spring starting Apr. 18 in Sayerville, NJ.  The almost month-long tour is scheduled to run through May 17 in Winston-Salem, NC and feature performance dates in cities, such as Dallas, TX; Pontiac, MI and Berkley, CA.  the tour’s current schedule is noted below.

“Chaos and Carnage” tour dates
w/ Whitechapel, Dying Fetus, Revocation, Fallujah, Spite, Uncured, Buried Above Ground

Apr. 18 – Sayerville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Apr. 19 – Worcester, MA – Palladium
Apr. 20 – Reading, PA – Reverb
Apr. 23 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
Apr. 24 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
Apr. 25 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Apr. 26 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot
Apr. 27 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Apr. 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze
Apr. 30 – Denver, CO – The Oriental Theater
May 2 – Berkley, CA – UC Theatre
May 3 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
May 4 – Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom
May 5 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
May 7 – Springfield, MO – The Complex
May 8 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
May 9 – San Antonio, TX – Rock Box
May 10 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
May 11 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
May 12 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
May 13 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
May 15 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
May 16 – St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
May 17 – Winston Salem, NC – Ramkat

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.

Amon Amarth Announces New Album, Tour Dates, Specs; Debuts New Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth returns this May, and the veteran viking metal band is building anticipation for the record’s release with the video for the album’s first single.

The band announced on Wednesday that it will release its new album Beserker on May 3 through Metal Blade Records.  The band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Raven’s Flight’ Wednesday at its official website and YouTube.

Directed by Roboshobo, the video crosses footage of the band performing its new single on stage at a club-like setting with a pair of ancient vikings facing a horde of their enemies.  It is the first in a trio of videos that will come from Beserker, and features guest appearances by former UFC star Josh Barnett and WWE Superstar Eric Rowan.

 

 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Beserker will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below. To pre-order Berserker, please visit amonamarth.lnk.to/berserker – where the album is available in the following formats:
–digipak-CD
–deluxe box set [digipak-CD, shield (~12″x12″), patch (~4″x4″) – limited to 500 copies in US]
–opaque white w/ black splatter vinyl (limited to 1200 copies)
–opaque white w/ silver haze vinyl (retail exclusive – limited to 1300 copies)
–clear w/ red splatter vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)
–black w/ red haze vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies)

Beserker was recorded in Los Angeles, with Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) helming the project.  Front man Johann Hegg offered positive remarks about Beserker in a recent interview.

“For me, this is Amon Amarth 2.0,” Hegg said.  “I think what we’ve done here is given ourselves the spcae to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band.  If you’re content with where you’re at, what’s the point in continuing?  We always want to come up with new ideas and find new ways and doing things, and to create bigger and better shows, and really try to improve every aspect of what the band is.  We want to try to keep growing and to do this for as long as we have the possibility to do so, because this is the best fucking job in the world.”

Beserker‘s full track listing is noted below.

Berserker track-listing
1. Fafner’s Gold
2. Crack the Sky
3. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
4. Shield Wall
5. Valkyria
6. Raven’s Flight
7. Ironside
8. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
9. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark

Amon Amarth will join Slayer, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse on the road in May for an almost month-long tour to help say farewell to Slayer while also promoting Beserker.  The band’s run is scheduled to start May 2 and run through May 25, and to feature performances in cities, such as Huntington, WV; Tampa, Fla and Phoenix, AZ.  the tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Slayer “Leg Five: North America” tour dates
w/Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse

May 2 – Ak-Chin Amphitheatre – Phoenix, AZ
May 3 – Isleta Amphitheatre – Albuquerque, NM
May 5 – UTEP/Don Haskins Center – El Paso, TX
May 7 – Bert Ogden Arena – Edinburg, TX
May 8 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Dallas, TX
May 10 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
May 11 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL
May 13 – Big Sandy Superstore Arena – Huntington, WV
May 14 – Merriweasther Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
May 16 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Noblesville, IN
May 17 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS
May 19 – DTE Energy Music Center – Clarkston, MI
May 20 – Covel Centre – Youngstown, OH
May 22 – Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ON
May 24 – BB&T Pavilion – Camdel, NJ
May 25 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA

More information on Amon Amarth’s upcoming tour, album and video is available online now 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 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.

Fates Warning, Metal Blade Reunite

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Fates Warning and Metal Blade Records have reunited.

The veteran progressive rock band announced this week that it signed a new deal with Metal Blade Records.  Most recently, the band was signed with InsideOut Music, which released the band’s most recent recordings, Theories of Flight (2016) and Live Over Europe (2018).

Front man Ray Alder addressed the reunion in a recent interview.

“All of us in Fates Warning are happy to announce that we are back with Metal Blade Records,” Alder said.  “Metal Blade has been there for us since the very beginning, and we are proud to call them part of our family.  The journey begins again, and we cannot begin to say how excited we are to work together once more.  A big thank to our fans for sticking with us through all these years.  We could not be here today without all of you.  That is a fact.  Thank you, everyone.  Here’s to making some new memories.”

Fates Warning was signed with Metal Blade Records from its inception, releasing albums through the label until 2013, when it released Darkness in a Different Light through InsideOut Music.  Theories of Flight followed in 2016.  The band’s 1998 live recording Still Life was also released via Metal Blade Records, as was the band’s 2017 live recording Awaken The Guardian Live.

 

 

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning is scheduled to join Queensryche on the road starting March 2 as a support act for Queensryche as it tours in support of its new album The Verdict.  That album is currently scheduled for release March 1 via Century Media Records.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Fates Warning tour dates
w/ Queensryche

Mar. 2 – The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL
Mar. 3 – Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Mar. 4 – Jack Rabbits Live – Jacksonville, FL *
Mar. 5 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Mar. 7 – Sound Stage – Baltimore, MD w/ The Cringe
Mar. 8 – Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, PA *
Mar. 9 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY w/ The Cringe
Mar. 10 – Palladium – Worcester, MA w/ The Cringe
Mar. 12 – Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
Mar. 13 – Diesel – Detroit, MI
Mar. 14 – Concord – Chicago, IL
Mar. 15 – The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Mar. 16 – Medina Entertainment Center – Medina, MN
Mar. 17 – The Royal Grove – Lincoln, NE *
Mar. 19 – The Shrine – Tulsa, OK *
Mar. 20 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
Mar. 21 – House of Blues – Houston, TX
Mar. 22 – Aztec – San Antonio, TX
Mar. 23 – El Rey – Albuquerque, NM
Mar. 24 – House of Bards – Tucson, AZ * w/ Push, DIRTNAP, Tribulance, Fire By Rank
Mar. 26 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Mar. 27 – Observatory – San Diego, CA
Mar. 28 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 29 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
Mar. 30 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Apr. 1 – The Dip – Redding, CA *
Apr. 2 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
Apr. 3 – Neptune – Seattle, WA
*=Fates Warning only

Once Fates Warning wraps its tour, it will start work on its 13th full-length studio recording, which will be released in 2020 via Metal Blade Records.  More information on that album is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

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.