Arch Enemy Announces Details On New Album, Performances

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Arch Enemy has begun work on its latest full length studio effort.

The Swedish-based “extreme metal” band has started mixing on what will be its ninth full length studio release.  The new album, titled War Eternal, is expected to be released this June.  Guitarist Michael Amott explained the meaning behind the title in a recent interview.  “A lot of times life is a struggle, a war against what I like to call ‘mental chains’ in society that try to prevent you from living life the way you want, that try to stop you from making your dreams come true. I have always resented that and I always will. The title sums up our collective attitude a band as well; stages will be destroyed, eardrums will bleed. There will be no choice. This, ladies and gentlemen, is ‘War Eternal’…

Amott went on to explain what fans can expect from War Eternal, musically and lyrically.  Musically, this album is going a few places we haven’t visited before. As our fans have come expect, our albums have all had their own vibe and ‘War Eternal’ will leave its own mark. Lyrically it’s a much more personal record, and I feel the songs have more dynamics and depth than ever before. The songs are loaded with strong and vicious metal, drenched in tons of melody and emotion. All the trademarks of ARCH ENEMY are present, just more in your face and turned up to 11″.

The band will debut some of its new material early this year during its European tour before the album is released in June.  That tour will be followed by a full run of European Summer Festivals including: Sweden Rock, Wacken Open Air Festival and more.  Arch Enemy will then head out for its own headlining tour across Europe, the UK, and North America this Fall and Winter.

More information on Arch Enemy’s upcoming album, performances and more is available online at http://www.archenemy.net, http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial, and http://twitter.com/archenemymetal.  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.

Of Conquest Is A Surprisingly Entertaining High Seas Hard Rock Epic

Courtesy:  Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Odds are that many American metal audiences have never heard of Scythia.  That all changes here and now.  Anyone that is a fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Judas Priest, In Flames, and even Dream Theater will enjoy the latest release from the Canadian power/prog rock band.  Of Conquest, the band’s fourth full length studio release, offers audiences even more adventure from the four-piece.  Stylistically speaking, this new record presents a sound that fans have come to know from the band’s previous records.  In terms of its content, the band has offered its fans something new once again.  Instead of delving into the world of warriors, wizards, the band has opted this time for a high seas hard rock epic.  Those that might be new to the music of Scythia will enjoy this record first and foremost of its musical content.  While this record boasts a sound similar to Scythia’s previous records, the sound stands out because of its hybrid qualities.  This will be discussed later.  The story presented in Of Conquest is just as certain to entertain any pure blooded metal head that is open-minded enough to give the record a chance.  In giving it a chance, said audiences may very well themselves find this new record to be one of their own favorite rock albums.

The musical side of Scythia’s new record is relatively similar to that of the band’s previous records.  On the surface, it comes across as another power/prog rock record, stylistically speaking.  But a deeper listen reveals something even more intriguing. The band’s sound is actually a subtle hybrid sound.  While the power/prog element comes out above others, there are also some obviously Swedish metal influences, too.  That’s obvious in the performance of lead guitarist/vocalist Dave Khan and even drummer/backing vocalist Celine Derval.  As a matter of fact, if one were to listen to this record without knowing that Derval was a member of the band, one would swear that the screaming female vocals that are interwoven into certain songs were that of Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow.  Speaking of Arch Enemy, Dave Khan’s prowess on the guitar is just as impressive as that of Michael Amott and other fellow Swedish shredders.  It just goes to show the influence of Swedish metal on the rock world.  Some might consider it musical heresy, but Khan’s own vocals are even on par with the likes of Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson and others.  Considering that this band released its debut album only four years ago, that is saying something.  Audiences that give this new record a chance will be surprised to find themselves agreeing with this comparison, too.  The positives of Of Conquest  don’t end here, either.  Just as noteworthy with this latest release is the album’s lyrical side.

Scythia has given its audiences a new story with each one of its previous releases.  Those releases have been steeped in fantasy and legend somewhere along the lines of perhaps Amon Amarth and others, only toned down.  There is still plenty of myth on Of Conquest.  But this time, the myth is used in a high seas hard rock opera of sorts.  This album presents a young protagonist that decides to take to the high seas in the late 1500s.  At first things seem great.  But it doesn’t take long before the young unnamed subject finds himself on quite the adventure.  From getting caught in an unforgiving storm to battling a kraken to facing some unspeakable figures late in his journey, he has great odds to face.  Making the story all the more interesting to take in is the fact that despite the band’s hybrid hard rock/metal sound, Khan actually sings his way through each “chapter” of the story.  So it’s actually possible to understand what is going on without a dire need for a lyric booklet.  Don’t misunderstand that statement.  Lyric booklets are always a nice addition for any artist’s album, regardless of genre.  It’s just that easy to understand the story.  And that is the final piece of what makes this album a surprisingly enjoyable record.  The band currently has no live events planned.  But fans that want to hear the band live or those that want to check out the new album when it is released can keep up with the band online at http://www.scythia.ca and http://www.facebook.com/scythiametal.  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.

The Final Revolution Is The First Great Hard Rock/Metal Album Of 2014

Courtesy:  SPV/Steamhammer Records

Courtesy: SPV/Steamhammer Records

The Final Revolution, the latest release from veteran New York based hardcore band Pro-Pain, is the first great hard rock record of 2014. The band’s album, its fourteenth, displays a band that shows no sign of stopping, despite its title. The album dozen tracks total just over half an hour. Yes that’s short. But in that time, the band—Gary Meskil (vocals/bass), Adam Phillips (Lead Guitar), Marshall Stephens (Rhythm Guitar), and Jonas Sanders (drums)—offers its fans a collection of songs that will hit them like a musical megaton bomb. It all starts with the relentless ‘Deathwish.’ Meskil and company grab listeners by the ear from the opening moments of this speed/thrash metal style song and refuse to let go even after the song’s end.  Considering that this band has been running full steam since 1991, the merciless metal onslaught of this song as an opener is quite the re-introduction for Meskil and company.  The official video for the song is available online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2tEetO2eSU.

This critic has already noted that the members of Pro-Pain refuse to back down at any point in the band’s new album. Every song on this new record will have purist metal heads proudly raising their horns high.  ‘One Shot, One Kill’, the album’s second song exhibits this quite well.  It is just as brutal as ‘Deathwish.’  As brutal as it is, it doesn’t have the same speed/thrash metal style sound.  This song’s style is more straight hardcore. All four of the band’s members work with the same precision in this song, as the military figures that don the album. One can so easily see this being a fan favorite both on record and live. It would be so easy to see fans singing along, fists pumping in the air as Meskil and company scream, “One shot/One kill” in the song’s bridge and final moments. Guitarist Adam Phillips shines in the bridge as he drives through his solo. He shows that he is no lightweight. Listeners will note that Phillips’ solo is akin to the style of Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott and Slipknot’s own Mick Thompson.  And it isn’t the only spot on this album in which he and his fellow musicians so expertly exhibit their talents, either.

One more example of what makes The Final Revolution such a strong new album from Pro-Pain is the full on anthem that is ‘Want Some?’  Meskil screams in this song, “Can you see the hate and pain in my eyes/The way they seem to cut through you/The wrath of a billion tortured souls/Will come crashing down through/This God forsaken place called Earth/And leave a voice so well-deserved/In this life you get what you give/So listen up/For if you want some/You better come quick/And come clean/Before reality hits you like a brick.”  He leaves absolutely no question as to what he is saying here.  He doesn’t stop here, writing in the song’s second verse, “I don’t give a f*** what was said/I listen to the voices in my head/Before I take note of what you say/On this particular s***** day/Division has reached a feverous pitch/And in the end, we won’t be missed…”  This is full on defiance in every sense of the word.  The outright defiance mixed with the song’s pummeling musical side makes this song one of the highest of highs on The Final Revolution.  And it would again be no surprise if it becomes a fan favorite for this reason both in on record in a live setting.  The same can be said of the other songs noted in this review.  Fans will get to hear each of these songs and all of the album’s others when it drops on January 21st, 2014.  The band is currently touring Europe in support of its upcoming album.  More tour dates are planned.  Fans can keep up with all of the latest tour updates, news, and more from Pro-Pain while they await the album’s release on the band’s official website and Facebook pages at http://www.pro-pain.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/PRO-PAIN-OFFICIAL-PAGE/215861125115781.  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.

Arch Enemy’s “Khaos Legions” rise

Courtesy Century Media

Metal nation members, put your horns in the air with pride.  The mighty Arch Enemy has returned with yet another solid album in its latest release, “Khaos Legions.”  The band–Angela Gossow (Vocals), Michael Amott (Guitars), Christopher Amott (Gutiars) Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass) and Daniel Erlandsson (Drums)–has never sounded better.  This album is everything that Arch Enemy’s fanbase has come to expect from the band and more.  Producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap (Stuck Mojo, Fozzy, Killswitch Engage, Nevermore, etc.) is back once again, this time serving mixing duties.  That’s just one more reason the album is so clear and solid in its brutality.

Longtime fans will love the absolutely shredding guitars of the Michael and Christopher Amott on every track.  And vocalist Angela Gossow’s screams are as pounding as ever.  And as on its past albums, the band continues its themes of rebellion against the norm.  One of the best of those songs on this work is ‘No Gods, No Masters.’  Gossow writes in the song, “I am who I am\take it or leave it\A Rebel at heart\No Gods, No masters\My time has come!”  if ever there was a fist pumping arena anthem from this metal titan, this song is it.  It’s one of those pieces that puts pride into fans for their individuality, much like that of Machine Head’s “Imperium.”

‘No Gods, No Masters’ is an absolutely brutal track that will make any purist metalhead proud.  But it’s not the only positive to this extreme metal act’s new release.  The album’s instrumental opener, ‘Khaos Overture’ sets the tone for what listeners are about to experience.  It then opens mercilessly into ‘Yesterday is Dead and Gone.’  The song, combined with the official video, is remiscent of scenes from riots across the globe in 2011.  Gossow writes in this piece, “Under a blood red sky\our voice will be heard\in a world where compassion is lost\you try to control us\This is so absurd\Freedom will be won at any cost/Yesrday is dead and gone…”  Combine the defiant lyrics with the pure musicianship of the Amotts, Gossow’s relentless screams, and Daniel Erlandsson’s blade sharp drumming, and audiences get what is bound to be one of the most memorable and powerful tracks on this album. 

Fans worldwide will get the chance throughout the Summer and into the Fall to experience these songs and a whole bunch more as the band tours in support of the album.  Arch Enemy will close out June with performances at the Peace and Love Festival in Borlange, Sweden on June 28th and the Dokkem Open Air Festival in Dokkum, Netherlands on June 30th.  From there the band will head across Europe and South America throughout the rest of the year.  Fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates online at http://www.archenemy.net and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it, or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.