Amon Amarth Announces Spring North American Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth will make its way across America this spring in support of its latest full-length studio recording, Jomsviking.

The band announced this week it will embark on a spring headlining tour in support of the album beginning April 30 in Jacksonville Fla.  The currently 17-date tour will take the band into Louisiana following its opening performance in Jacksonville, Fla and a second date in Pensacola, Fla.  Goatw**** will serve as support at select dates on the tour.

After making its way to Louisiana, the band will head to Tennessee and North Carolina and then up the East Coast.  That stretch includes performances in Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  Following the tour’s east coast leg, the band will play a series of dates in the Midwest from May 12 to May 21 to round out the tour.  The band’s current North American tour schedule is noted below.

Amon Amarth tour dates
w/ Goatwhore

Apr. 30 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome to Rockville *
May 1 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl
May 2 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
May 4 – Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theatre
May 5 – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion *
May 6 – Richmond, VA – The National
May 8 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
May 9 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
May 10 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
May 12 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
May 13 – Chicago, IL – Dark Lord Day *
May 14 – Somerset, WI – Northern Invasion *
May 16 – Wichita, KS – The Cotillion
May 17 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theatre
May 19 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
May 20 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
May 21 – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range *
*=Amon Amarth only

More information on Amon Amarth’s upcoming spring North American tour is available online now along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

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

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.

Whitehapel Announces New Dates For “Straight Outta Hell Tour 2016”

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Whitechapel is expanding its run on the “Straight Outta Hell Tour 2016.”

The band has announced that the “Straight Outta Hell Tour 2016”  will run into October.  The new schedule begins Friday, September 30th in Spokane, Washington and runs through Friday, October 21st.  It includes dates in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cleveland, Ohio, and Greensboro, North Carolina.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.  The band will continue to share stage time with Suicide Silence on the co-headlining tour.  Carnifex and Oceano will serve as primary support acts for the tour with Despised Icon joining the tour on select dates.

 

Whitechapel tour dates
w/ Suicide Silence, Carnifex, Oceano

Sept. 30 – Spokane, WA – The Pin
Oct. 1 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
Oct. 2 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall #
Oct. 4 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
Oct. 5 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
Oct. 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze #
Oct. 7 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave #
Oct. 8 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews #
Oct. 9 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues #
Oct. 11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater * #
Oct. 12 – Webster, NY – Harmony House *
Oct. 13 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theater * #
Oct. 14 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club *
Oct. 15 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium #
Oct. 16 – Freehold, NJ – Gamechanger #
Oct. 17 – Greensboro, NC – Pete’s
Oct. 21 – Farmington, NM – Top Deck
# = newly added
* = w/ Despised Icon

 

Whitechapel’s upcoming tour schedule is in support of the band’s new album Mark of the Blade.  The band’s sixth album, Mark of the Blade was released by Metal Blade Records this past June.  It is available now in stores and online at http://metalblade.com/whitechapel.  More information on Whitechapel’s new tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.whitchapelband.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.

 

Crowbar To Hit The Road Next Month For “Summer Of Doom Tour”

Courtesy:  Entertainment 1

Courtesy: Entertainment 1

Crowbar will hit the road again this summer.

Officials with Entertainment 1 and the members of Crowbar announced today that the band will hit the road next month for the “Summer Of Doom Tour.” The late spring/summer tour is in support of Crowbar’s newly re-issued 2000 album Equilibrium. The 33-date tour kicks off on Thursday, May 28th in Shreveport, Louisiana and comes full circle, ending Friday, July 3rd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The band will spend the first half of June making its way through the southwest and the west coast before making its way into western Canada. The band kicks off the second half of June by heading back across the border into the midwest and up into eastern Canada before making its way to the northeast to round out the month. To round out its tour, Crowbar will head into Columbia, South Carolina on Wednesday, July 1st, Atlanta, Georgia the next day and Baton Rouge on the last day of the tour. The complete “Summer of Doom Tour” schedule is listed below:

Summer Of Doom Tour 2015

5/28/2015 – Shreveport, LA – Riverside Warehouse

5/29/2015 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey

5/30/2015 – Austin, TX – Dirty Dog

5/31/2015 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

6/2/2015 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

6/3/2015 – Tempe, AZ – Club Red

6/4/2015 – San Diego, CA – Til Two

6/5/2015 – Long Beach, CA – DiPiazzas

6/6/2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go

6/8/2015 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater

6/9/2015 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

6/10/2015 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater

6/12/2015 – Calgary, AB – Republik

6/13/2015 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite

6/14/2015 – Saskatoon, SK – Obrians

6/16/2015 – Winnipeg, MB – The Zoo

6/17/2015 – Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam

6/18/2015 – Cudahy, WI – The Metal Grill

6/19/2015 – Detroit, MI – Shelter

6/20/2015 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s

6/21/2015 – Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa

6/22/2015 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom

6/23/2015 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club

6/24/2015 – Ottawa, ON – Mavericks

6/25/2015 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa

6/26/2015 – Worcester, MA – Palladium

6/27/2015 – Albany, NY – Trickshot Billiards

6/28/2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage

6/29/2015 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus

6/30/2015 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611

7/1/2015 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern

7/2/2015 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

7/3/2015 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater

Crowbar will be supported by Battlecross and Lord Dying for its upcoming tour. Battlecross is currently working on the follow-up to its 2013 album War of Will (Metal Blade) while it tours. Lord Dying is currently promoting its latest single, ‘Poisoned Altars,’ which is also the title track from its latest full-length studio effort. All of the latest updates on Crowbar’s upcoming tour are available online along with all of the latest news from the band via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. 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.

Dragonforce’s New LP More Than Lives Up To Its Title

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Euro-metal band Dragonforce released its latest album to American audiences this week.  Maximum Overload, the band’s sixth full length studio effort, is an aptly titled record.  That is because the album pushes the envelope of power metal from start to finish on this album.  From the album’s pummeling opening number ‘The Game’ to the full throttle ‘Defenders’ to the album’s equally nonstop pounding instrumental closer ‘Galactic Astro Domination,’ the members of Dragonforce leave listeners breathless by the album’s end.’  Listeners will agree that by the time the album finally ends—it runs a total of fifteen tracks and just over an hour—they have on their hands some of the best work that the band has crafted to date.

Dragonforce wastes no time getting things moving on its new album.  The band opens the album at breakneck speed in ‘The Game.’  The song initially comes across as being rather nihilistic.  But the reality of the song is that it is in fact a song that presents hope through all of the negativity in the world.  New front man Marc Hudson starts out singing of life’s difficulties, “Messed up once again/Told me it’s okay/But this path that I’m taking/I’m lost in the deep end…I tried/So hard/To reach for the stars/But I failed you all/Tried to keep standing tall/Never had a real chance at all/But I’m still searching.  That final line in which Hudson states “But I’m still searching” is a hint at the ability of the song’s subject to keep pushing on somehow despite so many negative thoughts.  That mix of emotions and strained thoughts continues late in the song as Hudson sings, “Ten thousand ways to say sorry/But life writes its own tragic story/Time marches onwards and nothing can ever be the same/But we’ll pray for a brighter tomorrow/Break free from this lifetime of sorrow/Years pass us by/But we’re all just a part of the game.”  In its own way, the song is presenting an image of someone pushing on through everything despite what seems like a battle with his or her own personal emotional demons.  Said figure won’t let those negative emotions take over no matter how many years pass.  This is just one critic’s own take on this song.  So it could very well be wrong.  If it is in fact incorrect, then apologies go out to the members of Dragonforce for the misinterpretation.  But it certainly seems to present that message of determination through the toughest of emotional odds.  That seeming positive lyrical message set alongside the pummeling dual guitar attack from Herman Li and Sam Totman, and drummer Gee Anzalone’s machine gun-like drumming makes even clearer why this song was chosen to open Maximum Overload.  The band doesn’t stop here, either.  Rather, it keeps the energy flowing well into the red and beyond right into the album’s midpoint, ‘Defenders.’

The seeming positive lyrical message presented by Dragonforce in Maximum Overload’s opener is echoed even more clearly as the album reaches its midpoint, ‘Defenders.’  Hudson sings in this song that there are those in this world that will try to bring others down.  But one can’t let those people win.  He sings of those people, “Life’s uncertain/A rat race of pain/Endlessly searching for more/Hopeless and aimless/Held back by the chains/Until we can’t take anymore.”  For all of the obstacles in life—both physical and emotional—Hudson reminds listeners that they should not give in or give up.  He goes on to sing, “Hold on/Stay strong/Breaking out from a past life fading/No more/What for/All we got is to keep on praying/Wait for their downfall/Their lives in dismay/Witness the final decay/Suffering in silence/For years we were blind/But now we got something to say.”  It’s almost as if Hudson is saying to the band’s audiences to let life’s obstacles destroy themselves whether they be other people or some other obstacle.  As with the album’s opener, the band keeps the energy going full throttle in this song.  That energy serves to make the song even more hard hitting and even more of a valuable addition to the album in whole.

The members of Dragonforce show time and again throughout the course of Maximum Overload their high level of talent. That is clearly evident in the songs already noted here. The album’s closer, ‘Galactic Astro Domination,’ more than exhibits that talent, though. Anyone that is familiar with the work of Dragonforce’s American counterparts in Powerglove will agree that Dragonforce takes the similar sound crafted by that band and ups it by a factor of at least one hundred in this full-on instrumental attack. And considering the nonstop adrenaline rush experienced throughout the songs that precede this one, it makes for a fitting final statement from Dragonforce on its new album. Whether it be for this full throttle finale, the other pieces noted or those equally driving pieces not noted here, fans of Dragonforce will find plenty of positives throughout this latest release from start to finish. Those fans will likely also find this album playing in their CD players and MP3 players quite a bit as a result.

Maximum Overload is available in stores and online now. It can also be purchased at any of the concerts on the band’s upcoming European tour. That tour will kick off Wednesday, September 17th at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. It runs through February 1st, 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. The band’s current tour schedule, news, and latest updates are all available online now at http://www.metalblade.com/dragonforce, http://www.facebook.com/dragonforce, and http://twitter.com/dragonforcehq. 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.

No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at http://www.facebook.com/Destrage, http://www.destrage.com, and http://twitter.com/destrage. 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.

Battlecross’ War Of Wills One Of Metal’s “Big Guns” In 2013

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal.  Pure, unmitigated thrash metal.  There is little other way to describe the latest album from Metal Blade Records’ own Battlecross.  War of Will, the band’s sophomore release, is one of those records that any thrash metal purist will openly embrace.  As tight as this album is, it’s incredible to think that the album was completed in only a month.  Typically, one would think that a record completed in roughly a month would have just been haphazardly thrown together.  But this record proves quite the opposite, musically speaking.  Much the same can be said of the album’s lyrical content, too.  Lyrically speaking, this album is even more fuel in the fight against those that would stereotype metal as being one thing or another.  It proves much like so many other metal bands that metal can be heavy and uplifting.  And it’s that combined with the album’s solid sound that makes it deserving of at least once listen.

One of the best examples of what makes War of Will such an impressive record is the song, ‘Never Coming Back.’  The title sounds ominous, yes.  And being that it’s from a metal band, it sounds even more ominous.  But one look through the song’s lyrics will prove otherwise.  Vocalist Kyle Gunther wrote in this song of the type of person that would much rather blame everyone else for his or her own problems, instead of taking the blame for his or her own problems.  He wrote, “As you stand there/Holding the shattered pieces of your life/Chiding everyone/For not protecting you/Believe that you’re the martyr/And drowned in your own lies/What we had is never coming back/Never coming back.”  These words are entirely relatable.  That is because everybody has encountered someone like that at one point or another in their own life.  Some listeners may be dealing with such a person right now in their own daily life.  This critic will openly say that he is in fact dealing with one of those people right now.  So it goes without saying that this is a powerful addition to War of Will.  The power that fills the song musically adds even more depth to the song.  It serves alongside the lyrics to highlight the anger and frustration felt by those affected by the “blamer” type.  The dual guitar attack of Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala is crushing.  It will take audiences back to the heyday of metal, harkening back to the likes of Iron Maiden, only amped up to a factor of ten.  It is just one of the many moments that any metal head will appreciate and enjoy on this record.

‘Never Coming Back’ is a powerful song to say the least on War of Will.  Right along the same vein as that song is the album’s fifth track, ‘Get Over It.’  This song has just as much power as the aforementioned song.  It’s another song whose lyrics echo the album’s theme of self-empowerment and personal strength.  The same energy and power carried throughout ‘Never Coming Back’ is here both lyrically speaking and musically.  Gunther powers his way through this song, screaming, “I will not play your petty games/It’s only in your head/Your lies become true/It’s only in your head/That these accusations make sense.”  He’s noting how a given figure has let personal doubt about given situations fester in his or her own mind and turned into paranoia that he or she is then driven to believe.  Again, this is an entirely relatable situation.  Whether it’s a situation of a person relationship or of something similar to said situation, it’s one in which everybody has been at one time or another.  Yet again, the song’s musical side does quite the job of illustrating the powerful emotions that are brought up in such situations.  That musical and lyrical power together, are certain to have quite the impact on the band’s listeners.

Listeners should be able to tell at this point that Battlecross has quite the album on its hands as do its listeners.  One could go on and on about each one of the songs on this record.  One more example would not be enough.  The self-empowering songs keep coming through the record as is exemplified in both the defiant ‘The Will to Overcome’ and the album’s title track.  Nowhere is that message more clear than in the defiant ‘the Will to Overcome’ and the album’s title track.  Both songs send the message of standing tall and proud, flipping the proverbial middle finger at the world.  Both are right up there with the likes of certain songs from Machine Head and Hatebreed.  Fans can hear these songs and all of the others from War of Will now as the album is available in stores and online.  Fans can also hear the band play songs from the album live during its current tour.  The band will be in Lakewood, Ohio tonight alongside 3 Inches of Blood, Revocation and Diamond Plate.  Fans can get the most current tour dates and more from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal and http://www.battlecrossmetal.com.  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.

As I Lay Dying releases video for first single from “Awakened”

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

As I Lay Dying won’t release its new album until September 25th.  But to get fans excited for its impending release, the band has officially released the lyric video for the first single off of the album, ‘Cauterize.’

The video shows a moth like insect flying against AILD’s band logo, while the lyrics to the song play overtop.  The song comes across as a very personal piece.  The band sings on the song’s chorus, “I’m caught between the feeling of being pulled apart, or stuffed into a cell.”  There’s obviously some inner conflict in the song.  fans can check out the video on the band’s official Youtube channel now at http://www.youtube.comasilaydying

As I Lay Dying will be touring throughout the Summer with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in support of “Awakened.”  Fans can check out all of the band’s tour dates online at http://www.asilaydying.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/asilaydying, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/asilaydying.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.