‘Of Kingdom And Crown’ Is One Of Machine Head’s Best Albums To Date

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Machine Head is back.  More than four years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Catharsis, the band released its 10th album, Of Kingdom and Crown Friday through Nuclear Blast Records.  The 13-song album is a solid return to form for front man and founder Robb Flynn, who is now the band’s only original member.  Over the course of the record’s 39-minute run time, its arrangements lift from all of the best of the band’s catalog, musically speaking, while also offering lyrical content that is engaging in its own right.  Flynn and his new band mates – Waclaw Kieltkya (guitar, vocals), Jared MacEachern (bass, vocals), and Matt Alston (drums) – released roughly half of the album’s body in the months leading up to the record’s release, with a total of six of its song debuting between November 2020 and June of this year.  One of the most powerful of those singles is ‘My Hands Are Empty.’  This song will be discussed shortly.   ‘Rotten,’ which comes late in the album, is another notable addition to the record and will be discussed a little later.  ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate,’ which comes early in the record’s run, is yet another notable addition to the album and will also be examined later.  All three songs noted are key in their own way to the whole of this album’s presentation.  When they are considered along with the album’s other entries, the whole makes this record one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums.

Of Kingdom and Crown, the latest album from Machine Head, is easily among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.  There is no question about that.  That is made clear from the record’s beginning to its end in its musical and lyrical content alike.  One of the songs that does so well to make that clear is ‘My Hands Are Empty.’  While not recently considered the album’s lead single, it was, in hindsight, the first of the new songs that would end up on the album in its release way back in November 2020.  It should be noted here that while Matt Alston is currently handling drumming duties for the band, the drums in this song’s arrangement were handled by Navene Koperweis (Animals As Leaders, Whitechapel, Entheos).  The arrangement overall features a sound and stylistic approach that, as Flynn noted at the time of the single’s release, is comparable to works from the band’s 2003 album, Through The Ashes of Empires.  That is evidenced through Flynn’s distinct growling vocals and the richness created through the pairing of the guitar and bass alongside those pummeling drums.  The addition of the choral effect to the mix adds even more to that sense.

Lyrically speaking, Flynn explained that the song tackles the issue of opioid abuse.

“I have some family members who have beaten their opioid addiction, and have some still in the throes of addition,” Flynn said. “it is painful to watch, and I deal with it with great difficulty.  It is a song of sadness, but there is hope as well.  I have beaten my own drug addictions and we can fight through this together and share our pain with the world.”  The mention in the song’s chorus that “My hands are empty/Lies so pretty/Kill me gently” points directly to the emotional struggle.  It is an allusion to someone feeling left with nothing as a result of so many struggles.  In this case the struggles are with addiction, being at the bottom of that proverbial barrel.  The mention of powders and pills in the song’s second verse, along with watching someone slowly die is that direct reference to watching people Flynn knows struggling with addiction.  Seeing them “Disintegrate/You/Right before my eyes” and the emptiness haunting him makes that painful picture all the fuller.  That overall lyrical picture, along with the power and emotion in the song’s musical arrangement makes fully clear why this song stands out among the album’s singles.

‘My Hands Are Empty’ is just one of the songs that stands out in Machine Head’s new album.  ‘Rotten’ is another notable addition to the record.  Its musical arrangement immediately takes audiences back to the band’s debut 1994 album, Burn My Eyes.  The crunch of the guitars, and the pairing of the bass and drums really leads even more to that comparison.  Flynn himself is even quoted through Apple Music as saying the arrangement came about during the band’s recent tour in celebration of Burn My Eyes’ 25th anniversary while also making his own comparison to works from Exodus’ 1989 album, Fabulous Disaster.

Considering the fire in the song’s arrangement, it makes the song’s lyrical content all the more interesting.  That is because Flynn left interpretation of the song’s lyrical content to audiences.  The mention of sitting, holding the “gun in hand/Barrel to the temple” leads to the sense that this song is lyrically taking on the blend of anger and desperation that comes with such suicidal thoughts.  The anger comes as Flynn screams, “Everything is rotten to the core” in the song’s chorus.  His further mention of feeling such anxiety, “heart racing/My throat’s constricting” even more seems to hint at those mixed feelings.  If in fact, this is the picture that Flynn is trying to paint here, that of someone sitting there, feeling so much anger and sadness, anxiety and confusion all at once, then he has done quite well.  That is because mental health is such a prevalent matter, and that constantly deserves attention.  To that end, the overall picture painted through the song’s musical and lyrical content makes the whole here stand out just as much as ‘Empty Hands’ and the rest of the album’s offerings.

As much as ‘Rotten’ does to make Of Kingdom and Crown a powerful new offering from Machine Head, it is hardly the last of the record’s most notable works.  ‘Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate’ is yet another example of how much this record has to offer.  The musical arrangement featured in this song is, again, influenced by Exodus according to Flynn.  He compared the intensity of the song’s arrangement to that of works from Exodus’ debut 1985 album, Bonded by Blood.  Interestingly enough, that album’s title track (and much of the album) actually sounds more akin to early Metallica than Machine Head.  To that end one could argue that this song is just as much akin to early Metallica as early Exodus.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion, too.

Lyrically, this song goes in a completely different direction from those of the other songs examined here.  Flynn said in an interview about the song, that it was influenced by the Japanese anime series, Attack on Titan.  He said the song is part of what is apparently a bigger semi-conceptual approach to this album that is based on that series and that the lead song focuses on two characters who both start out good but turn bad because of the bad things that happened personally to them.  It is an interesting concept of there really being that there is no real “good” or “bad” guy in stories or in life.  That concept, together with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, makes it stand on its own unique merits.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album overall an unforgettable new offering from Machine Head that is among the best of the band’s albums to date.

Of Kingdom and Crown, the latest album from Machine Head, is an impressive return for the band, considering the stark departure that the band took on its predecessor, 2018’s Catharsis.  The album is a full-on return to form for Flynn and his current band mates.  That is evidenced through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The songs examined here each make that clear.  When they are considered along with the album’s other songs, the entirety of that body makes Of Kingdom and Crown one of Machine Head’s best albums to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Of Kingdom and Crown is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. The band is scheduled to join Amon Amarth on the road this fall in Europe, with each band promoting its own new album.

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 Machine Head’s new album and tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.machinehead1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MachineHead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MfnH

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

Orange Loop Rock Fest Details Announced

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Organizers of the Orange Loop Rock Festival announced details for the event Monday.

The three-day festival is scheduled to take place June 10-12 at the Showboat Festival Grounds in Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets and VIP passes are available now. Weekend general admission tickets are $144.99 plus fees and VIP passes are $449.99 plus fees.

Single day tickets for Friday, June 10 are $19.99 plus fees while tickets for June 11 and 12 $74.99 plus fees for each day. Children’s weekend general admission tickets are $54.99 plus fees. Tickets are also available in four-packs for $474.99 plus fees and in two-packs for $259.99 plus fees.

Approximately 17 bands are scheduled to perform at this year’s festival, including and not limited to John 5, Chevelle, and a trio of tribute band that take on classics from Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Foreigner.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below.

Friday, June 10th

Foreigners Journey ft. Constantine Maroulis – Tribute to Foreigner & Journey

Ozzmosis – Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne

The Four Horsemen – Tribute to Metallica

Saturday, June 11th

Chevelle

TBA

Hinder

Stephen Pearcy – The Voice of Ratt

Great White

Slaughter

Doro

Sunday, June 12th

Stone Temple Pilots

Hoobastank

Puddle of Mudd

John 5

L.A. Guns

Treach of Naughty by Nature

Dangerous Toys

More information on the 2022 Orange Loop Rock Festival is available along with all of its latest news at:

Website: https://www.orangelooprockfest.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orangelooprockfest

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

Evil Invaders’ Latest LP Is A Mostly Successful Record

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Veteran metal outfit Evil Invaders released its latest album, Shattering Reflection Friday through Napalm Records. The band’s first third album and its first in nearly five years, it is a presentation that the metal masses will find worth hearing every now and then. That is due in large part to its wide range of metal arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. While the record’s musical arrangements do well for its presentation, their companion lyrical content sadly detracts somewhat from the presentation. This will be discussed a little later. The record’s production works with the arrangements to make for more engagement and entertainment. It will be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album a mostly successful new outing for Evil Invaders.

Evil Invaders’ new album, Shattering Reflections, is a mostly successful offering that most metal fans will find worth hearing every now and then. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the album’s 10 separate musical arrangements take listeners on a nice ride. Right from the outset, ‘Hissing in Crescendo,’ listeners are presented with an arrangement that is full-on vintage thrash metal. Front man Johannes “Joe” Van Audenhove’s half-sung screams pair with the razor sharp guitar riffs and fully precise time keeping and rich bass line to lend the whole to comparison to works from a wide range of the band’s counterparts. At some points, vintage Overkill can be heard in the arrangement. At others, Slayer front man Tom Araya comes to mind thanks to Van Audenhove’s vocal style. What’s more, audiences can also make comparisons to works from Exodus through the combination. It is just one way in which the musical arrangements prove so pivotal to the whole of this record. ‘Die For Me,’ which immediately follows, immediately lends itself to the sounds of Iron Maiden with the harmonies and style in the guitars. The vocals meanwhile are still borderline Araya-esque. On yet another note, a song, such as ‘My World’ conjures thoughts of vintage Metallica and Megadeth to a point. Though as it progresses, really enters another realm, adding to the interest. Simply put, the musical arrangements that the band presents throughout the record offer listeners a relatively healthy sampling of vintage metal styles. That forms a strong foundation for the record and makes it worth hearing.

While the musical content featured throughout the album forms a solid foundation for the presentation, that content’s companion lyrical content detracts from the record’s presentation to a point. The lyrical content is familiar, as Van Audenhove has noted in interviews. He has pointed out that it features themes of personal, inner thoughts, as well as ruminations on things going on in the world. That is a good thing. The thing of it all is the way in which he approaches those topics. Van Audenhove wrote the songs’ lyrics in a way that does leave some room for misinterpretation. What’s more, because of the way in which they are presented, and the very heavy nature of those themes, it is going to require audiences to be in a very specific mindset when listening to the album. Case in point is the theme featured in ‘In Deepest Black’ and ‘Eternal Darkness.’ Both of those songs come across as being about being in that dark mental and emotional place. Everyone has been there at one point or another in life, but the way in which the lyrics are presented makes these presentations very deep. If someone is not in that required head space, he/she will not fully appreciate the songs. In the case of, say, ‘Die For Me,’ the song opens sounding like something about someone who is dealing with backstabbers, which again is relatable for audiences. From there though, the song then turns and starts sounding more like something about a cult leader and in turn can easily be misinterpreted. So this is an example of how the album’s lyrical content does prove somewhat problematic to the record’s presentation. The content overall is not enough to make the album a failure, but is still of note, regardless.

Keeping in mind that the record’s lyrical content does not do enough to make the album a failure, there is one more item to note in examining the album’s presentation. That item is the album’s production. The production of the musical arrangements is important because of its role in the record’s general effect. The utmost attention had to be paid to each song from the more intense moments to the more reserved compositions. The more intense compositions required attention to make sure that no one part overpowered the others and each line complimented the others. In the matter of the deeper, more emotional moments, the added attention was there so as to have the fullest impact on listeners. Those painstaking efforts paid off, too. The result is that from beginning to end, the album’s general effect does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained as the album’s musical content. When the content and production are considered together, they make the album, again, worth hearing occasionally.

Evil Invaders’ latest album, Shattering Reflection, is an interesting new offering from the band. Its appeal comes largely through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are of note because of the wide range of vintage metal styles presented throughout the album. From influences of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, to those of Slayer, Exodus and others, the arrangements will reach a wide range of metal fans. While the record’s musical arrangements for a solid foundation for its presentation, the album’s lyrical content detracts somewhat from the presentation. That is because on one hand, much of it leaves itself too open for misinterpretation in how it is presented. On another hand, it also requires listeners to be in a very specific mindset in order to fully appreciate said content. Luckily, even with all of this in mind, the record’s lyrical content is not enough to make the album a failure. Keeping that in mind, the album’s production works with the musical content to make the album more worth hearing. The production is important to note because it balances the vocals and instrumentation from beginning to end, ensuring each musician’s performance is expertly balanced with that of one another. What’s more it also ensures the emotional impact of each arrangement is its fullest through that balance. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, the album proves itself to be a presentation that a wide range of metal fans will find worth hearing every now and then.

Shattering Reflections is available now through Napalm Records. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://evilinvaders.be

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evilinvaders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/evilinvadersbe

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

Gill Brothers Band’s Debut LP Is A Strong Start For The Band

Courtesy: Slang Church

Up-and-coming southern rock act Gill Brothers Band released its self-titled debut Tuesday through Slang Church. The record is an interesting presentation that fans of said genre will find worth hearing at least once. This is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal in its own right and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted plays into the album’s engagement and entertainment in its own way. All things considered, they make the album a new addition to this year’s field of independent and rock albums that is worth hearing at least once.

Gill Brothers Band, the debut record from its namesake act, is a presentation that will appeal to fans of the southern rock realm. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the 35-minute album, the arrangements exhibit influences from a wide range of southern rock acts whose own music also shows clear blues influence. Speaking more specifically, a song, such as ‘Small Block’ (which comes late in the album’s run) presents not only a southern rock sound, but a stylistic similarity to AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what with the chromatic riffs and the distinct vocal style in the verses. Interestingly enough, the song’s choruses lend themselves to comparison to works from Foo Fighters, making for quite the intriguing duality. Even with that being the case, the overall arrangement is well-balanced and makes itself stand out among the rest of the record’s arrangements.

On another note, ‘Rest In Piece’ actually has a very subtle tribute to a well-known Metallica song in its secondary guitar line and steady bass drum beat. Whether that similarity was intentional is known only by the band. Regardless, that great tribute (subtle as it is) alongside the arrangement’s more southern rock leanings gives this arrangement its own unique identity separate from that in ‘Small Block’ and from the rest of the album’s arrangements. It further shows the importance of the record’s overall musical arrangements to the album’s overall presentation.

As if everything noted is not enough, the arrangement featured in ‘Nobody’s Fool’ does its own share to continue showing the variety in the record’s arrangements. In the case of this arrangement, one cannot help but make the slightest comparison to works from the J. Geils Band in the song’s verses. The choruses meanwhile lean more in the noted familiar southern rock sense. Maybe the J. Geils Band comparison is just in this critic’s ears and mind, but even if that is the case, then so be it. This critic does hear it. The blend of those two distinctly different styles and sounds once again makes clear the variety of the musical content featured throughout the album, and the importance thereof. When it and the other arrangements examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements (which exhibit influences of Black Crowes, Zac Brown Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd) the whole makes clear just how important the album’s overall musical content is to the record’s presentation.

While the musical arrangements featured throughout Gill Brothers Band unquestionably do a lot to make the record worth hearing, they are just part of what makes the record work as well as it does. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add to the noted appeal. Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘By Your Side.’ In the case of this song, it is another ode to a former romantic interest. That is made clear in the song’s lead verse, which states, “If I had the money/I’d buy you a boat/We’d take it out on the clear lake/Oh how we’d float/But money isn’t the answer/At least that’s the way it should be/I swear we used to laugh/So easily/Is it wrong/To mourn for love/Makes me sick/To sing this song I’m thinking of/Now the memory/It stays with me/And the feeling passes by/Down that highway/If I’d had it my way/I’d still be by your side/Would it be alright/Could I stay by your side?” The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion, with mentions of wishing for closure along the way. It is a familiar topic that is made more interesting when it is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement. That is because the mood set through the Reckless Kelly style musical arrangement is not as melancholy as one might think. Rather it is more semi celebratory as it recalls the happier times.

‘Rock and Roll,’ which is one of the album’s singles, is yet another example of the importance of its lyrical content. In the case of this song, it finds the song’s subject wondering if the path that he took in life was the right choice. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “The property is going to s***/It’s a hit/Do you think you’ll stick around next time you’re down/I tell you what, buddy/I’m short on your money/Hold up/Get down/I’m turning licks into honey/I just can’t decide/Did rock and ruin ruin or save my life?/And I just can’t decide/Did rock and roll ruin or save my life?” The second verse adds to that sense as it states, “I’m running out of steam/I can’t remember the dream/The Gisbon’s in the case/And I’m watching TV/Pick up the slack/Could you please run it back?/I’m riding alone/I’m riding right off the tracks.” In other words, this is someone who is headed in the wrong direction. It’s a familiar topic, though not overly familiar anywhere in the music industry. Again, considering the song’s musical arrangement, this theme becomes even more interesting, considering the theme’s contemplative nature. Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme continues to show, in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. It is its own theme that stands apart from the others featured throughout the album that will engage and entertain audiences in its own way.

‘Nobody’s Fool’ is yet another example of the important role that Gill Brothers Band‘s lyrical content plays in its overall picture. In the case of this song, its lyrics come across as a statement of someone who is looking forward as he looks to the past, determined to make changes. This is inferred in the song’s chorus, which states, “When I get off this mountain/Tell you what I’m going to do/Take the things that made me stronger/And give them all right back to you/When I get up off my a**/And do the things that I should do/I’ll see the things around me changing/Seeing me and you change, too.” The mountain is a metaphor for life, and how the song’s subject is having to “climb” it. It is another familiar topic presented in a unique fashion that is also accessible to audiences. When it is considered along with the equally relatable themes examined here and with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no question about the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When the album’s musical and lyrical content is collectively considered, that whole makes the album all the more engaging and entertaining. It is collectively just part of what makes the album stand out. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the album’s presentation is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect. The production ensures that the best is brought out of each song, expertly balancing the instrumentation and vocals within each track. That balance makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable, too. In turn, it ensures listeners will find themselves paying more attention to each arrangement and each lyrical theme, thus immersing themselves into the record that much more. Keeping all of this in mind, Gill Brothers Band proves itself a positive start for the up-and-coming country/southern rock act.

Gill Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album is a mostly successful offering from the up-and-coming country/southern rock band. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are each familiar in their approach and sound, but still boast unique minutiae that makes them all the more engaging and entertaining. The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as its musical arrangements. Audiences will connect with that aspect of the album as much as the record’s musical content. The album’s production produces a welcoming general effect that ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s content. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album an overall welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums.

Gill Brothers Band is available now through Slang Church. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/gillbrosband.

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

Sabaton’s Latest LP Is Full Of More Welcome Musical, Lyrical Firepower

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran power metal band Sabaton released its latest album, The War To End All Wars Friday through Nuclear Blast Records.  The band’s 10th album, it came less than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Great War.  What is for all intents and purposes a companion/sequel to The Great War, the band’s new album presents even more stories of World War I.  This item is just one of the more notable of the record’s elements.  It will be discussed a little later.  The musical arrangements featured in the band’s new album are also of note in examining the album.  They will be discussed shortly.  The record’s production rounds out the most important of its elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from Sabaton that its fans will enjoy just as much as any casual power metal fan.

The War To End All Wars, the latest album from veteran power metal act Sabaton, is another mostly successful offering from the band.  Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements that make up the album’s body do not necessarily break any new ground for the band.  For the most part, audiences get the same kind of semi-operatic/symphonic power metal approach that the band has used throughout its extensive life.  The thing is that even with that in mind, the band still manages to keep the arrangements fresh and unique from one another and from the rest of its existing catalog.  As an example, the blending of the holiday standard, ‘Carol of the Bells’ into the bigger power metal arrangement in ‘Christmas Truce’ gives this song a richness that is unlike most of what the band has ever crafted.  Its follow-up, ‘Versailles’ – which also closes out the album – conjures thoughts of Trans-Siberian Orchestra with its choral effects and story telling element incorporated into the mix.  On an even more unique note, the band really changes things up in ‘Hellfighters.’  Instead of its familiar power metal riffs, the band opts here to instead go more of a vintage metal direction a la classic Metallica.  The band then blends that with its power metal leanings for an overall arrangement that is unquestionably among the most unique musical moments in the album’s run.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s musical arrangements stand out.  When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole makes the album’s musical content a strong foundation for this new album.

Building on the foundation formed through the songs’ musical arrangements is the record’s lyrical themes.  As noted earlier, the record focuses lyrically on more tales from World War I.  The band’s single ‘Soldier Of Heaven’ for instance, tells the story of White Friday.  White Friday was a World War I battle that took place along the Italian front Dec. 13, 1916. The battle, which actually took place on a Wednesday, led to the deaths of countless Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers. The deaths happened as a result of avalanches that many historians allege were caused by both sides against their foes.  It is a story that is rarely told if ever in any American history class.  ‘Stormtroopers,’ which opens the album, focuses on the German soldiers who took part in the war.  The soldiers were considered elite members of the German military who helped the Germans attain victory in a number of conflicts in Europe.  Their role in the war is also little taught in American history and military history classes, so to have this history lesson taught through such hard rocking fashion makes the story of their role all the more engaging and entertaining.  In yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content, the album’s latest single, ‘Race to the Sea,’ tells yet another little taught story from the war.  This time, the story is that of Belgium’s King Albert and his decision to flood the Yser river in order to stop the German troops from taking the country completely.  The flooding took place Oct. 28, 1914, leading the Belgians to hold that one section of the nation throughout World War I.  It is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When this story and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s stories, the whole leaves no doubt that the lyrical content featured in this album are just as important to the album’s presentation as the record’s musical arrangements.

While the overall content featured in The War To End All Wars is unquestionably important to the record’s presentation, they are only part of what makes the record engaging and entertaining.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.  The production is of note because it ensures from one song to the next, that the instrumentation and vocals are expertly balanced.  With so much power from each performer, it would have been so easy for the songs to get bogged down in themselves.  Thankfully that did not happen at any point from start to end.  Each song gives listeners the utmost impact in its general effect.  The result here is that this element ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s overall content.  When this item and the album’s content are all considered together, the whole makes the album a presentation that the band’s established audiences and more casual power metal fans alike will agree is another successful offering from Sabaton.

The War To End All Wars is a positive new offering from veteran power metal act Sabaton.  The band’s new album succeeds in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are of note because while they don’t necessarily break any new ground for the band, they still ensure that they don’t just rehash the band’s existing songs.  In other words, the stylistic approach to the songs is still the same here, but the sounds are their own from one song to the next.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is important to examine because as with so much of Sabaton’s songs, it tells stories of the world’s military conflicts that are rarely if ever told/taught here in the U.S.  It adds that much more interest to the album’s presentation.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  That is because it ensures the arrangements are each expertly balanced.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make The War To End All Wars another welcome addition to Sabaton’s catalog.

The War To End All Wars is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on Sabaton’s new album announcement is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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

Annihilator’s ‘Metal’ Re-Issue Is A Mostly Successful Presentation

Courtesy: earMusic

More than 14 years after it released its album, Metal, veteran hard rock/metal band Annihilator will re-issue that record in the form of Metal II.  Originally released April 16, 2007 through SPV/Steamhammer, Metal featured 10 songs.  The album’s Japanese release featured a cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ as a bonus track.  This time out, the song is part of the album’s standard release, in place of the song ‘Operation Annihilation.’  Also featured in the album’s re-issue is a cover of Van Halen’s ‘Romeo Delight’ as an extra, bringing the album’s track count to 11 songs.  That cover is just one of the songs that makes the album successful.  It will be discussed shortly.  The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ is notable in its own right, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The band’s cover of Excite’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ is another notable addition to this presentation.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes this new presentation of Metal a mostly successful record.

Annihilator’s forthcoming re-issue of its 2007 album, Metal – dubbed Metal II – is a mostly successful new presentation.  Its success comes in part through its cover of Van Halen’s ‘Romeo Delight.’  Front man Jeff Waters talked about taking on the Van Halen classic in a prepared statement.

“There was something about Women And Children First,” muses Annihilator’s, said Waters.  “It was massively brutal attitude meeting aggression — meets a DLR-fronted party. You have to remember when this came out. ‘Romeo Delight’ is the most ‘heavy’ song from VH, in my (and Kerry King’s!) opinion.”

“His [Eddie Van Halen’s] playing, writing, performance, and smile were second to none EVER,” added Waters. “He was a superb writer, lead guitar innovator, genius rhythm player, and was able to build a gear empire. He took chances. Did his own thing. It worked. Millions and more will mourn him, as long as the future world likes music. But we also will be celebrating forever, as musicians will continue to hand down the ‘EVH-Influenced-Musical-Genes’ to future generations!”

Annihilator’s take of ‘Romeo Delight’ stays largely true to its source material, backing up Waters’ statement. From the guitars to Waters’ own vocal delivery sound and style (which sounds a lot like that of David Lee Roth), to Fabio Alessandrini’s performance on drums and the very sound there, the song echoes Van Halen’s original quite well. Even bassist Rich Gray’s work on bass is so similar in sound and style to that of Michael Anthony. All of this is a tribute to those responsible for the song’s production. It makes the song sound so much like the original in its general approach.  All things considered here, the song proves to be just one of the works that makes this record stand out.  The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ does its own part to make the album interesting.

The band’s re-worked take of ‘Chasing The High’ stands out largely because of the guest appearance of Lamb of God guitarist Willie Adler.  Adler’s groove metal riffs work with the band’s more pure thrash leaning in the vein of vintage Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth to make the song in whole such a unique composition.  The intensity of the original composition is stepped up so much because of Adler’s addition to the mix.  The re-worked take on the song stays true to its source material.  It just steps it up a number of notches, making it even more intense.  To that end, the song stands on its own merits in the record’s overall body and shows even more what audiences have to appreciate from this re-issue.  The band’s cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ as a standard part of the record is one more positive aspect of the presentation.

The cover of Exciter’s ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ stands out because as with the other songs examined here, it stays true to its source material.  In listening to the original song alongside this updated take of the song, the update is so impressive because it takes the source material and maintains its vintage metal sound but also really steps it up more.  The presentation sounds so much fuller in its new update.  Those responsible for the record’s production and re-mastering are to be applauded for their work just as much in this case as with the album’s other songs.  When the impressive result of that work is considered here along with the work that went into the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Metal II a nice update on Metal

Annihilator’s forthcoming reissue of its 2007 album, Metal, Metal II, is a positive presentation from the veteran metal outfit.  That is proven through each of the extras featured in this re-issue.  When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s works, the whole becomes a mostly successful overall work. 

Metal II is scheduled for release Feb. 18.  More information on Annihilator’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.annihilatormetal.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/annihilatorband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/annihilatorband

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

‘Trivium Has Crafted One Of Its Best Albums And One Of The Year’s Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums In ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Veteran metal act Trivium is a band whose members clearly do not let a lot of grass grow under their feet.  A little more than a year after the band released its then most recent album, What The Dead Men Say, the band released another album, this time in the form of In The Court of the Dragon.  Its release Oct. 8 came on the heels of an extensive tour with Lamb of God, Megadeth, and Hatebreed, and leading into upcoming shows on Slipknot’s annual Knotfest.  One would think that with that tour and everything going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, the band would not have turned out this impressive record so soon, but somehow it managed to do just that.  The album is a strong new return from the band, too.  That is evidenced through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes alike.  ‘Like a Sword Over Damocles,’ one of the album’s early entries, does well to prove that true.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘The Shadow of the Abattior’ is another example of how this record’s musical and lyrical content make the album so interesting.  It will be examined a little later.  ‘The Phalanx,’ the album’s latest single and its finale, is one more way in which the album’s overall content shows the record’s strength.  It will also be examined later.  When this song and all of the others featured in this 52-minute record are considered together, they make In The Court of the Dragon one of the best of Trivium’s albums to date.

Trivium’s recently released album, In The Court of the Dragon, is among the best of the band’s records to date.  The band’s 10th album, it offers much for audiences to appreciate through its musical and lyrical content alike.  ‘Like A Sword Over Damocles,’ one of the album’s early entries, does well in itself to support the noted statement.  The five-and-a-half minute song’s musical arrangement is a full-on modern metal opus that will appeal to even the most diehard metal purists.  The opening riff and chants conjure thoughts of doom metal before things change and the arrangement turns more decidedly in a radio friendly direction.  That is due in part to the melodic hard rock choruses, which are comparable to the choruses from so many Sevendust songs.  Yes that’s quite a range, but it is definitely there, at least in the ears and mind of this critic.  The whole is a fully immersive composition, complete with raging guitar solo, that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement makes for its own interest.

According to comments from guitarist Corey Beaulieu, the theme here is lifted from the original story of the Sword of Damocles, who traded places with King Donysius II of Syracuse.  Damocles learned a valuable lesson about virtue in the end.  Beaulieu said of his thought that stemmed from his research into the story, “What happens when the person who’s questioning you has your job and responsibility?”  He added that bassist Paolo Gregoletto built on that concept and the pair came up with the final lyrical presentation.  The influence of that story is evident throughout the song’s lyrical presentation.  Just as interesting is that it is a story that even in this format, will resonate with any listener because such situation rises in the real world daily.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical theme and musical arrangement together make clear why ‘Like A Sword Over Damocles’ is a strong example of the power of this album’s overall content.  It is just one of the ways in which the album’s strength is displayed.  ‘The Shadow of the Abattoir’ does its own share to show why this album shines.

‘The Shadow of the Abattoir’ is, while not the album’s longest song, one of its longest.  It clocks in at seven minutes, 12 seconds.  Over the course of that time, the song takes listeners in a range of directions, opening with a classic metal style sound in its contemplative approach.  Front man Matt Heafy’s vocal delivery is one of the most interesting points of the song’s musical arrangement.  That is because the richness and bass in his voice sits somewhere between Metallica front man James Hetfield and Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor.  Again, yes, it sounds like quite the range, but it is there, and it makes for reason enough to hear this song, too.  When this is all considered against the song’s more fiery verses, the contrast between verse and chorus makes the song even more interesting in its musical side.  It is just part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content adds to the song’s interest, too.

It should be noted at this point that the band openly stated that the album’s lyrical content is based on mythologies that its members developed due to their own interest in literary mythology.  That aside, the songs still manage to relate to audiences.  This song’s lyrical content continues to prove that in its chorus as Heafy sings, “Don’t go searching for the battle/You won’t find any beasts to slay/You’ll rip yourself to pieces/You’ll drive yourself insane/In the shadow of the abattoir.”  An abattoir being a slaughterhouse, one cannot help but wonder which myth led to this kind of content.  That aside, the very message still connects with listeners.  In this case, the message comes across as being that of not going to look for trouble, because when you go looking for it, you will find it, just not in the way you might think.  You might find your own trouble in yourself.  The verses seem to build on that message as each finds the subjects in bad situations because they apparently went looking for those situations so to speak.  From the snow covering a path in the song’s lead verse, to people apparently succumbing to the sun and its heat in the song’s second verse, to a ship singing after going through dark waters in the third verse, these are all situations in which people found themselves in trouble because they put themselves in such situations.  This is all just this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  If so, then it further shows why the album’s overall content makes the record so worth hearing.  It is hardly the last of the record’s most notable songs, too.  ‘The Phalanx,’ which closes out the album, is one more way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content combines to show the LP’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Phalanx’ opens in a decidedly almost orchestral metal fashion before soon transitioning into a more pure metal approach.  The seven minute, 16 second’s opening movement lends itself to comparisons to works from Megadeth and Avenged Sevenfold what with the guitars and vocal delivery style and sound. As the song progresses, it eventually returns to the more symphonic metal style approach and sound used in the arrangement’s opening bars, leading to something of an ABA pattern here.  The whole of the composition is a powerful presentation that will engage and entertain audiences easily in its own right.  When it is considered along with the song’s lyrical content, the whole becomes even more powerful.

In the case of this song’s lyrical theme, it comes across as a story of a man who sees the fallacy of war.  It would be interesting to know what myth the band came up with for this story and from what myth the band got its inspiration for the song.  Regardless, the way in which the song’s subject makes his revelation clear is moving.  Considering the mood that the song’s arrangement sets, that revelation gains even more power.  The combination makes the song stand out that much more as a key example of how much this album has to offer audiences.  When this song and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole shows that much more why In The Court of the Dragon successful.  All in all the album proves to be, again, one of the band’s best records to date.

Trivium’s recently released 10th album, In The Court of the Dragon is among the best of the band’s albums to date.  Its strength comes through its musical and lyrical content alike.  That is proven through all three of the songs examined here, one of which is among the album’s current singles.  When it is considered along with the album’s other singles, the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums. 

In The Court of the Dragon is available now through Roadrunner Records. More information about Trivium’s new single, video and tour schedule is available along with all of Trivium’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.trivium.org

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Trivium

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TriviumOfficial

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

‘Symbol of Salvation Live’ Is A Wonderful Tribute To One Of Armored Saint’s Most Important Albums

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Armored Saint’s 1991 album, Symbol of Salvation was a pivotal moment in the band’s history.  The band’s fourth album at the time of its release, it was also the first for the band on Metal Blade Records.  This after the band had been dropped by its previous label, Chrysalis Records.  The band had released its first three albums on that label.  The album would also be the band’s last with the late Dave Prichard.  Prichard died of leukemia in 1990, prior to the album’s release, leaving a clear hole in the band’s lineup and collective hearts.  That gave the completion of the album a whole new meaning.  It went on to be considered by audiences and critics alike “a turning point” for Armored Saint.  As a matter of fact, it ended up being so important a part of the band’s catalog that it was re-issued in 2003 in an expanded package with interviews and music videos.  Now Friday, the band will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the album’s release with a live recording featuring the band performing the album in whole.  It will come in the form of Symbol of Salvation Live through Metal Blade, fittingly.  The recording stands out in part because of the approach taken to the concert, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance thereof is also of note and will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered, they make Symbol of Salvation Live one more of this year’s top new live recordings.

Armored Saint’s forthcoming live recording, Symbol of Salvation Live is an impressive new offering from the band.  The group’s third full-length live recording (the first came in 1988 in Saints Will Conquer and the second in 2017 in the form of Carpe Noctum), this recording will appeal easily to the band’s established audiences and to hard rock audiences in general.  The appeal comes in part through the fact that the concert is a celebration of that one album, Symbol of Salvation.  Given, Armored Saint is hardly the first band to ever use a concert or tour to focus on one album, but that does not reduce the enjoyment by any means.  Again, .  Given, Armored Saint is hardly the first band to ever use a concert or tour to focus on one album, but that does not reduce the enjoyment by any means.  Again, Symbol of Salvation is a key moment in the history of Armored Saint’s life.  To that end, celebrating a record that was both a new birth for the band and a heavy emotional moment because of the loss of one of its own is fully justified.  Not to mention that it was also a turning point stylistically for the band.  If anything is interesting, it is the fact that the concert featured in the recording was held in 2018, three years prior to the 30th anniversary of the album’s release.  No explanation was ever given about that aspect by Metal Blade Records or the band.  Regardless, having the entire, landmark album in one setting from both parties here is still enjoyable.  It is one more way for audiences to celebrate the album and the band without worrying about COVID-19 and any restrictions caused therewith.  Audiences can instead just enjoy the concert in the comfort and safety of their own homes regardless of which side they take on that discussion.  It is just one part of what makes the recording, which barely tops the one-hour mark, a positive presentation.  The band’s performance throughout the concert adds its own positive touch to the presentation.

The performance of Armored Saint’s band members throughout this performance is of note because those performances individually and collectively do their own part to immerse audiences in the show.  Front man John Bush (who recently talked about being pursued by Metallica many years ago for a spot in their band) is the classic front man from beginning to end.  Whether it is in the mid-song moments when he is interacting with the audience, or the moments when he leads the band (and audience) along in song, his power and swagger is fully evident.  Drummer Gonzo Sandoval keeps time solidly through every high-energy performance, making sure each song keeps moving expertly from start to end.  Guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan pair just as well together, creating a wonderful point/counterpoint that is exceptionally accented throughout by the work of bassist Joey Vera.

Speaking of Vera, he credited the audience with bringing out the best in the band in a recently released prepared statement.

“The vibe in the room was so great,” he said.  “The fans made us feel so welcome, like we had come home for a celebration of sorts, and we all celebrated Symbol of Salvation.  It gave me chills hearing people sing along to songs like ‘Burning Question,’ a song we never had played live before.”

In other words, Vera is saying that the band fed off of the audience’s energy.  This is evident through each musician’s performance, too.  The band gives back the energy given to it as a group by the audience.  It gives the audience the full best of itself in each song’s performance, leaving no question that the performance overall is everything that audiences had hoped for from the band.  This is just one more way in which the recording shines.  The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the concert is important to examine because of the venue’s size.  In watching the concert’s video, it is clear that the concert hall was somewhat intimate.  It was hardly a stadium or arena.  That means that the utmost attention had to be paid to the audio mix.  Additionally, it meant that just as much attention had to be paid to the cameras.  Even with the somewhat confined space, the cameras were still able to capture the concert, giving audiences the best seat in the house.  The audio is expertly mixed.  The result is that it really captures the venue’s size so well while also ensuring no one audio element outweighed the others.  The aesthetic impact is positive in its own right.  The black and white presentation is an artistic thing in the video, but it also plays into that aesthetic impact.  It isn’t done in some overly artsy fashion to the point that it’s annoying.  There is just something about the attention to this aspect that makes it feel like one big music video and concert in one in all of the best ways possible.  On a related note, the cameras catch the concert in every positive angle, too.  The editing that went into the post production plays with the camera work in that it makes sure each shot is just long enough to not leave audiences dizzied.  Instead it works with the production from the cameras to fully capture the energy in the band’s performance and from the audience.  The short and simple here is that the production puts the final stamp on this recording, ensuring in its own way that audiences will remain engaged and entertained throughout the concert.  When the overall production is considered along with the band’s performance and the concert’s approach, the whole makes the recording in whole another wonderful new offering from Armored Saint.

Armored Saint’s forthcoming live recording, Symbol of Salvation Live is a strong new addition to this year’s field of new live recordings.  It offers plenty for audiences to appreciate, beginning with the very approach taken to the performance.  The performance celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s 1991 album, Symbol of Salvation.  Yes, having originally been recorded in 2018, three years prior to the anniversary, it is still a great way to celebrate the anniversary.  The band’s performance is solid from beginning to end.  Each musician gives his all and then some.  As Vera noted, that is due in part to the fact that the audience gave its all, too.  The recording’s overall production ensures that the concert experience is just as enjoyable in its forthcoming home release.  That is thanks to the expert work that went into the concert’s initial recording and post.  It collectively gives audiences the best seat in the house.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Symbol of Salvation Live one more of this year’s top new live recordings.

Symbol of Salvation Live is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records. More information on Symbol of Salvation Live is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.armoredsaint.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/thearmoredsaint

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/thearmoredsaint

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.

Aftershock Festival 2021 Performance Times Announced

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual Aftershock Festival have announced the schedule for this year’s installment of the annual event.

Now in its ninth year, the festival is actually a rescheduled event from 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event to be re-scheduled last year. As with its 2019 edition, this year’s installment of the Aftershock Festival is officially sold out. It is scheduled to take place this weekend from Thursday to Sunday at Discovery Park in Sacramento, CA.

The festival grounds are located at 1600 Garden Highway. Sacramento, CA.

Attendees at this year’s festival will be required to follow strict COVID-19 guidelines. Those guidelines are noted here.

The 2021 edition of the Aftershock Festival is scheduled to open at 4:25 p.m. ET Thursday with a performance by Oxymorrons, on the Coors Light Stage. Fit For A King follows at 4:50 p.m. on the Jack Daniel’s Stage. Death Angel and Exodus will follow Oxymorrons at 5:25 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively on the Coors Light Stage. Meanwhile back on the Jack Daniel’s Stage, Knocked Loose is scheduled to follow Fit For A King at 5:55 p.m.

From there, Anthrax, Testamentand Cypress Hill will keep the music going between the two stages. Cypress Hill’s performance on the Jack Daniel’s Stage at 8:50 p.m. will close out the evening’s activities.

Friday will see the festival expand to three stages, with music starting at 12:45 p.m. from Contracult Collective on the Coors Light Stage. Ayron Jones will take the stage first at 1:20 p.m. Friday on the Kolas Stage. Performances from acts, such as Crobot, Pop Evil, and Rancid and many others will keep things moving through the day. Metallica will headline Friday’s events beginning at 8:55 p.m.

Moving on to Saturday, American Teeth and The Black Moods will open the day’s schedule at 12:30 p.m. and 12:35 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage and Kolas Stage respectively. Also notable acts featured on the day are those, such as South of Eden, Another Day Dawns, and Atreyu, as well as Anti-Flag, Mudvayne, and Alien Weaponry. The original lineup of The Misfits rounds out the day at 9:10 p.m. on the Jack Daniel’s Stage.

Even as the weekend winds down Sunday, the music will not let up. Sunday’s schedule opens at 12:20 p.m. on the Jack Daniel’s Stage with a performance by Law. As the day continues, performances from the likes of From Ashes To New, Pennywise, Mastodon, and Rise Against are also scheduled. Metallica closes out the weekend’s festivities at 7:55 p.m. ET on the Kolas Stage.

Along with lots of music, this weekend’s festival will also feature just as much food, drink and entertainment. The full details on all of that are noted below.

Additional food & beverage, and other experiences onsite include:

·      Caduceus Wine Garden, highlighting Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, owned by Arizona resident Maynard James Keenan, co-founder of international recording acts TOOL, A Perfect Circle, and PUSCIFER.

·      Coors Light Coldstream serving with frosty draft technology, complete with actual ice crystals

·      Deep Eddy Vodka -Deep Eddy’s Dive In Trailer is a place where people come together to enjoy good times that never seem to end. Where strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet. While at Aftershock stopby and see us at the Deep Eddy Dive In Tour and raise a glass to being back together!

·      Dr. Greenthumb’s – Founded by the Godfather of insane brains, B-Real of Cypress Hill 

·       Fxck Cancer / Dyin 2 Live Dreams Program

·       It’s Ronz World –  custom guitars, rock shop and art

·       Jack Daniel’s Mobile Distillery Tour Experience – Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery is the first registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cheers your friends make your own history at Aftershock when you rock out at the Jack Daniel’s Main Stage with Metallica!

·      KOLAS – Stop by the Loud Lounge to level up Aftershock vibes with t-shirt ripping, body art and more.  KOLAS will also provide dynamic delivery outside the festival grounds.  Stop by the KOLAS footprint all weekend long to learn more!

·      Mortus Viventi  – Live Tarot Card Readings

·       The Blackened Bar – Aftershock is proud to continue the collaboration with Metallica’s Blackened Whiskey. The pop-up will feature Blackened, a super-premium American whiskey blend, crafted by the late Master Distiller Dave Pickerell and finished in the earth-shattering music of Metallica. This exciting collaboration marks the latest in a long line of amplified guest experiences only available through Danny Wimmer Presents music festivals.

·       The Loud Lounge – Get heady and hang in the Loud Lounge with Kolas, Clown Cannabis, California’s Finest CBD, Heavy Grass, Dr. Greenthumb’s, Helpful Hemp and more. 

·       Take Me Home – not for profit, volunteer based foundation that has been saving the lives of homeless animals since 2001.

·       weedmaps – Located inside the Loud Lounge. Fans can learn about cannabis delivery by downloading the weedmaps app all weekend long. Stop by the booth for fun giveaways and prizes and if you forgot your clear bag, weedmaps has your back. 

Aftershock Festival is presented and produced by Danny Wimmer Presents. More information on the festival is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.AftershockFestival.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AftershockFestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AftershockSac

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

Louder Than Life Lineup Finalized

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

The 2021 Louder Than Life festival will go on.

The event’s organizers announced the lineup and performance times for the festival Tuesday through a news release. The event, now in its sixth year, has expanded to four days from three — Sept. 23-26 — and will feature performances from approximately 70 acts. Single-day and weekend tickets/passes are available here.

Metallica is one of the most notable acts for this year’s festival. The band is scheduled to perform two separate acts on two of the festival’s nights. Also scheduled to take one of the festival’s four stages at this year’s event are acts, such as Another Day Dawns, Disturbed, Korn, Mudvayne, Cypress Hill, and Pennywise.

Along with lots of music, this year’s festival will also feature lots of food and drunk. The Kroger Big Bourbon Bar is the most notable of the features of this year’s food and drink options. It will have more than a dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries nationwide.

Food and drink from a variety and local and regional restaurants (all of which are noted below) will also be available for festival attendees.

502 Café, Angry Bird Grill, Bangarang Bahn Mi, Barrett’s BBQ, Barrett’s Burgers, Bistro Italiano, Blackbeard Espresso, Bru Bros Coffee, Burger Factory, Cheese Louise, Dank Nugs, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, Eli’s BBQ, Gary’s Philly Cheesesteaks, Gelato Gilberto, Hole Mole Tacos, Island Noodles, Jammin Concessions, Longshot Lobsta, Mac Attack, Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen, Mike’s Kentucky Kitchen, My Olympus Greek Food, Overloaded, Phat Daddy’s Creole, Pie Baby Wood Fired Pizza, Pizza Lupo, Potato Tornado, Ramiro’s Cantina, Shady Grove Wraps, Spicy Pie, Strawberry Field, The Cookie Lady, Tica’s Tacos, Tickle Pickle, and Tumbleweed.

Additional bourbon, food & beverage, and other experiences available onsite include:

·       Caduceus Wine Garden

·       The Blackened Bar

·       Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar, where guests can enjoy NFL and college football games

·       Heavy Tiki Bar presented by Jim Beam

·       Budweiser Beer Garden

·       Jim Beam Garden

·       The Well– IV hydration, juice bar and overall wellness lounge to recharge all weekend long

·       Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club- featuring vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary selections

·       Mortus Viventi – Live Tarot Card Readings

·       Jack’s Char Housepresented by Jack Daniel’s

·       Milagro Cantina Bar

·       Larceny Trailer Lounge

·       Tito’s Handmade Vodka VIP Airstream

·       The Speakeasy

·       Fxck Cancer / Dyin 2 Live Dreams Program

·       Pegasus Experiences Louisville’s Finest Distillery Experiences

·       Take Me Home

·       The Music Experience

Louder Than Life is put on by Danny Wimmer Presents. The festival’s partners are noted below:

Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer, Kroger, Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Elijah Craig, Bulleit Bourbon, Angel’s Envy, Larceny, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Evan Williams, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry, Pegasus, ESP, Mortus Viventi, The Music Experience, Louisville Tourism, Kentucky Venues, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, The Well, TickPick, Fxck Cancer, Revolver, Inked, Blackcraft, Fanatics, Headcount, TWOLA and Take Me Home.