Ministry Announces Rescheduled Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Ministry is not allowing COVID-19 to stop its latest tour run from happening

The band announced Friday that it has moved its spring “Industrial Strength Tour” schedule to October and November. That is to allow restrictions put in place to be gradually lifted.

Front man Al Jourgensen talked about the re-scheduling for the tour, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s album, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.

“With current COVID-19 restrictions, we are forced to again move our scheduled March/April 2021 U.S. tour to October/November 2021 and hoping normalcy returns by then,” he said. “With vaccinations and better care happening, we all feel the fall is realistic. We can’t wait to get out there and play not only The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste material for you all but some stuff off our new album as well. Stay safe and see you in the fall!”

The band’s new tour schedule is set to launch Oct. 3 Albuquerque, NM and to run through Nov. 3 in Seattle, WA. The band has made some changes to its upcoming live run. It has added Charlotte, NC on Oct. 20.

Meantime, the band will also reschedule its Baltimore, MD date and move the Buffalo, NY date to a new venue in the city. Additionally, the band’s dates in Pittsburgh, PA and Missoula, MT will not take place now.

All tickets purchased for the initial spring run will be honored for the upcoming fall dates, though ticketholders can also receive refunds if they so choose at the point of purchase. The updated tour schedule is noted below. Frontline Assembly remains as support and will now be joined by Helmet as additional support.

THE INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH TOUR

RESCHEDULED TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021

*indicates a new date not included on the original run

**indicates a venue change from the original run

***indicates a date where Helmet will not be appearing

October 2021

 3   Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

 4   Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre

 6   Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

 8   Buffalo, NY @ Buffalo Riverworks**

 9   Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre

10  Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre

11  Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre

14  Boston, MA @ House of Blues

15  Huntington, NY @ The Paramount

16  Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre

17  Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall

19  Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle

20  Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore*

21  Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live

23  Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!***

24  Houston, TX @ House of Blues

25  San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater

28  Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren

29  Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues

30  San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

31  San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre

November 2021

2   Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

3   Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo

More information on Ministry’s new tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.ministryband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WeAreMinistry

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.

GATA’s New Remix EP Will Appeal To Any Goth, Industrial Metal Fan

Courtesy: The Label Group

More than two years after releasing its then latest album Alpha Bionic, independent goth/industrial band Gabriel & The Apocalypse is revisiting that album with a new EP of remixes from the record.  Released Feb. 26 through The Label Group, the five-song record is a presentation that will find equal interest among the band’s established audience base and goth/industrial fans alike.  That is due in no small part to the featured remixes, which will be addressed shortly.  The sequencing of those featured songs adds to the record’s interest.  It will be addressed a little later.   The songs’ lyrical content rounds out the record’s most important aspects and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make the EP a rare case of the sequel being better than the original.  Yes, this is a discussion topic even in the music industry.

Remix records are commonplace presentations for industrial rock and metal acts.  From Gravity Kills and Nine Inch Nails, to Fear Factory and Ministry, the practice of remixing songs is nothing new.  So when it was announced that independent goth/industrial band Gabriel & The Apocalypse was going to release a collection of remixes from its 2019 album Alpha Bionic, the surprise was limited.  While the surprise was limited, the enjoyment is proving anything but.  That is due in no small part to the five-song record’s featured remixes.  Four of the featured songs are originals featured in the band’s aforementioned record while the fifth is a remix of the band’s cover of Midnight Oil’s hit 1987 single ‘Beds Are Burning.  Why these songs in particular were chosen from the original album’s 10 total songs is anyone’s guess.  That is beside the point.  What is important is that the featured remixes actually build on their source material (two-fold in the case of ‘Beds are Burning’ since that one was a cover to begin with) and improves on each song.  The band’s remix of its original song, ‘Systematic Chaos’ gives that song a completely different identity thanks to Mushroomhead founding member and drummer Rick “Stitch” Thomas.  Thomas’ “Burn It Down Remix” of the song gives this song more of a full-on industrial feel that is more akin to works from Mushroomhead and Ministry than the heavy, driving, guitar and keyboard-driven approach of the original.  What Thomas has done here to improve the song is focus more on the keyboard line in the original and really make it the center of the song.  That driving, percussive style approach from the  primary keyboard line pairs with an occasional secondary keyboard flourish and steady electronic bass drum beat to make the song just as good as its source material if not better.  It is a wholly different work from the original that ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment, and is just one example of how the album’s featured remixes play such an important part to its presentation.   The ‘TIMELINES REMIX’ of ‘pointTHREE’ is another example of how these remixes ensure the EP’s engagement and entertainment.

The ‘TIMELINES REMIX’ of ‘pointTHREE’ stands out because while it does tend to stay more to its source material, listeners will note that it doesn’t maintain the ethereal approach of the original arrangement throughout the song.  Rather, as the remix progresses, the secondary keyboard line from the original takes center stage this time out.  What’s more, that now central keyboard line is more accented in its balance with the elements of the original.  The mix honestly gives this updated take something of a Nine Inch Nails style sound and approach that is certain to appeal to audiences of both acts.  It is just one more example of what makes the remixes here stand out.  The “(Up and Down Remix)” of ‘Electro-Mechanical’ is yet another way in which these remixes serve to make the EP so engaging and entertaining.

The “(Up and Down Remix)” of ‘Electro-Mechanical’ is a stark change from its source material.  Where the original work is grounded in its distinct keyboard line and guitar line, the remix relies more on more familiar electronic elements.  Front woman Lindey Gabriel’s vocals pair so with the light, bouncy drums and infectious keyboard line here.  What’s interesting here is that the keyboard line here actually replaces the guitar line in the original.  The rhythm is the same, but the unique effect once again conjures thoughts of Nine Inch Nails.  That aesthetic element and the subtle secondary keyboard line that joins the mix late in the song’s run pair with the steady electronic beat and vocals to make the song in general its own unique take on the song’s source material.  Keeping in mind the engagement and entertainment that this remix offers along with the record’s other arrangements, the whole of the collection proves without a doubt, the importance of the featured songs here.  They are just a portion of what audiences will like about the EP.  The songs’ sequencing adds its own appeal to the record.

The sequencing of Alpha Transendence’s songs is important because it plays directly into the record’s energy.  Just as in Alpha Bionic, this remix follow-up opens in high-energy fashion in ‘Systematic Chaos.’  Even with the change in the arrangement’s stylistic approach in the remix, the song still exhibits such a powerful, high-energy presentation.  It ensures just as much as the original record, that it immediately engages listeners, and succeeds in doing so.  The ‘pointTHREE’ remix maintains the EP’s energy, immediately following the remix of ‘Systematic Chaos.’  That is even considering the more reserved chorus sections.  The much heavier verses make for an impressive juxtaposition to those chorus sections.  The whole makes the song such an engaging work in itself that even with its slightly slower tempo, still boasts its own high energy.  That ensures even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  ‘Electro-Mechanical’ keeps the EP’s energy moving with the swagger in its more up-tempo arrangement.   The band’s remixed cover of ‘Beds are Burning’ ups the energy even more with its steady keyboard line and beat.  Its arrangement here makes it sound like it came right out of the 1980s new wave movement, which is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners in itself.  Staying on the matter of the song’s energy, it keeps the EP’s energy moving fluidly.  In turn, it ensures even more, listeners’ maintained engagement.  It is not until the EP’s closer, the “Acoustic Remix” of ‘Bleed Me An Ocean’ that the record’s energy truly noticeably pulls back.  The gentle, ballad style arrangement here is powerful in its own right.  At the same time, the general reserved nature of the arrangement is a clear stylistic departure from the rest of the record’s arrangements.  It shows just as much as at any point, how much time went into the EP’s sequencing.  Looking back through the EP’s sequencing, the high-energy start, straight through to its reserved finale shows defined crests and troughs throughout.  It shows that the sequencing was deliberate.  That deliberate effort paid off just as much as the remixes themselves.  Collectively, the remixes and their sequencing makes for even more engagement and entertainment.   Even as much as the noted items do for the record, they still are not the last of the EP’s most important aspects.  The lyrical themes featured in the songs put the finishing touch to the record.

There are plenty of audiences out there who are already familiar with Gabriel and the Apocalypse, and those audiences have likely already taken in Alpha Bionic.  At the same time, there are plenty of audiences who are less familiar with the band and its work.  To that end, if this EP is those latter audiences’ introduction to the band and its work, then the record’s lyrical content is just as important to note as anything else.  ‘Systematic Chaos’ for instance, comes across as a statement of pure disgust with the state of the world.  Given, socio-political commentary is anything but new to the world of rock.  The thing is that so many such songs take more of a plaintive approach.  In the case of the statement is less plaintive and more of a “screw it all” sense.  This is inferred right from the song’s outset (which is also the song’s only actual verse) as Gabriel sings, “I used to want to save the world/Let’s burn it down/I can see for miles, I can see for years.”  The chorus adds to that sense as she adds, “Systematic chaos, smoke and mirrors/Manipulated, calculated, hell bound, let’s burn it down/Do you feel what you say?/Do you say what you feel?”  Again, this is complete frustration with everything, and while it is a clearly angered view, the fact of the matter is that many of us get to (and likely have gotten to) the point from which this song comes.  To that end, that ability to relate to those very real thoughts and emotions will help listeners release their own frustrations.  This is just one way in which the record’s lyrical content proves its importance.   The lyrical content featured in ‘Electro-Mechanical’ does even more to show the importance of this element.

The lyrical theme that is seemingly featured in ‘Electro-Mechanical’ appears to take on the familiar topic of someone who is done with a toxic relationship.  That is just this critic’s interpretation of the content.  The inference comes right from the song’s outset as Gabriel sings, “I can’t feel/I can’t breathe/I’ll give you what you need/I can take it/I’ll fake it/You only need skin to bleed/Moving fast but standing still/A dark place turned so beautiful/Detached all my feelings/Now, I’m here for the killing.”  That mention of being able to “fake it” even despite the negative thoughts that open the verse points to someone who is putting up with a bad situation.  As the verse progresses, things change as the subject states, “A dark placed turned to beautiful/Detached all my feelings/Now, I’m here for the killing.”  Obviously the “killing” does not mean murder.  Rather it would seem to refer to the end of that bad situation, just in a metaphorical sense.  The seeming story continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “A part of me has died/Impressions liquefying/Peeling from these walls/Who will catch you when you fall?/Electro-Mechanical/I had to let you go/This wall I’ve built so tall/I’m not afraid no more to lose it all/Electro-Mechanical.”  That attestation that “I’m not afraid no more to lose it all” would seem to solidify the noted inferred statement.  It really makes it seem even more that this is, lyrically, a song that centers on someone who has ended a toxic relationship.  If in fact that is the case, then the manner in which the story is delivered is unique and powerful.  In turn, it would make the EP’s lyrical content that much more pivotal to its presentation.

As much as the lyrics in ‘Electro-Mechanical’ and ‘Systematic Chaos’ do to make the record appealing, they are just a pair of songs that meet that end.  The lyrical content featured in ‘Bleed Me an Ocean’ shows even more, the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  The song’s lead verse states, “I write at your fingertips/Beautiful insanity taking on me/I don’t mind, it’s only a lie/Just a matter of time before we blur the line.”  The second verse continues, “I know what moves the center of you/We crash and burn/Will we ever learn?/Is this all there is? Days into years/What’s done is done, still we run.”  This collectively seems to point to a relationship-based topic again.  It could very well be the wrong interpretation.  Regardless, the ability of these lyrics to generate what will assuredly be plenty of discussion shows its own importance here.  When that impact is considered along with the themes and impact of the other themes noted here (and those not noted), the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the EP’s lyrical themes to its presentation.  When that importance is considered along with that of the record’s featured remixes and their sequencing, the whole makes Alpha Transcendence one more positive new offering from Gabriel and the Apocalypse.

Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s recently released EP Alpha Transcendence is a positive new offering from the independent goth/industrial band.  That is due in part to its featured remixes.  The remixes take music from the band’s most recent album, Alpha Bionic (2019) and gives each song new life through the unique arrangements.  The sequencing of those arrangements adds its own appeal to the EP.  That is because the sequencing maintains the balance in the record’s energy.  The lyrical content that accompanies the lyrical content rounds out its most important elements.  It serves as its own added important element mainly for the band’s new audiences.  Its accessibility will ensure listeners’ engagement in its own right, too.  When it is considered along with the noted songs and their sequencing, the whole makes the record overall one more of this year’s top new EPs.  It is available now.  More information on Alpha Transcendence is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://gabrielandtheapocalypse.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GabrielandtheApocalypse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GATA_band

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.  

Post Death Soundtrack’s New EP Charts A Clear “Path” For Its New LP

Courtesy: Independent Music Promotions

Independent industrial act Post Death Soundtrack unveiled the first preview of its upcoming album It Will Come Out of Nowhere this week.  The duo – Jon Ireson and Steve Moore – offered up the preview Friday in the form of its EP Pathless Land.  More single than EP, the three-song record features one of the noted album’s singles – ‘Pathless Land’ – and two remixes thereof.  The 16-minute record is a presentation that will appeal to fans of the duo’s contemporaries, such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and Gravity Kills.  That is proven in all three of the song’s takes as well as its lyrical content.  The production in each rendition brings everything today, completing the record’s presentation.  All things considered, the EP is a work that is a strong first impression for the duo’s album.

Post Death Soundtrack’s new EP Pathless Land is a positive first impression for the duo’s forthcoming album It Will Come Out of Nowhere, which is expected for release Feb. 15 on limited 2LP release.  It is such a promising preview of the record in part because of its musical arrangements.  All three takes of the EP’s title track gives audiences something different from one take to the next.  The rendition that features in the album is a keyboard driven work that opens, sounding like something out of the 1980s.  However, as the vocals (including the dual-lined chant of “Freedom”) are added to the mix, that sound turns more into something akin to the industrial sounds of the early  90s.  The comparison here to works from Nine Inch Nails is unavoidable.

The “Sovereign Mix” of ‘Pathless Land’ maintains the noted Nine Inch Nails comparison, but also adds in a bit of a Ministry influence, too.  That is evidenced in t he steady, plodding keyboard line that hits with the force of a hammer.  The ambient vibe that the rest of the song exhibits also presents hints of Stabbing Westward and Gary Numan’s influence to a slightly lesser degree.  It is a take that holds its own against the album’s rendition and proves just as engaging as that take.

The “Lit Beacon” take of ‘Pathless Land’ is just as unique as the song’s “Sovereign Mix.”  What makes this version stand out so much is its semi-acoustic approach.  That subtle approach conjures thoughts of Nine Inch Nails’ more subdued works circa 1994, the year that the band released its landmark album The Downward Spiral.  The brooding nature in the arrangement makes this take one of those works that is so heavy without being heavy and will prove just as engaging for PDS’ target audience as the other two takes of ‘Pathless Land.’  All things considered, the three different takes on the song form a strong foundation for the EP.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content (in all its forms) adds even more to the EP’s engagement and entertainment value. 

Not all of the lyrical content featured in the song is capable of deciphering without a lyrics sheet to reference.  However, from what one can understand, the song’s lyrical content comes across as being decidedly introspective.  At one point, the song notes, “From the need to fight/From manic desire/From climbing ever higher/From the mantis bride/From the human…From trouble…/From the fatal flaw/From temples of might…From the seekers of truth/From the altar of youth…”  There are mentions of Christ and Allah from there and “lifeless praise” here, too.  Simply put, what this song does lyrically is something completely unlike anything else out there today.  Thankfully, information provided about the song’s lyrical content does explain the cryptic language.  The information cites Moore as saying about the song that, “‘Pathless Land’ is a little song full of unlikely vitriol and resolve following loss and devastation. We’re thrilled to share this new release with you during dark times and hope it provides a moment of stillness where something fresh can take root.”  Taking that loose description into account, it is sure to generate plenty of discussion among audiences.  Together with the song’s musical content, in each of its iterations, the two elements collectively make for even more engagement for audiences. 

While the musical and lyrical content featured in the Pathless Land EP do quite a bit to make the record an interesting presentation, they are just a portion of what creates that appeal.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the presentation, bringing everything together.  As has already been noted, the EP (which again is in this critic’s view more single than EP – but that’s beside the point at this rate) features three very distinct takes on the song in question.  Each rendition presents its own unique take, too.  That means that a lot of attention had to be taken to make sure each take had the utmost impact.  Thankfully, those painstaking efforts paid off.  The brooding, subtle sounds of the song’s “Lit Beacon” mix creates such a deep emotion that will resonate with listeners long after the song’s end.  The balance in the subtle crescendos and decrescendos makes this take so rich.  The more driving, electronic “Sovereign Mix” with its sharp contrasts makes for its own powerful impact.  It would have been so easy to let the song get away with itself in the heavier moments in this mix, but thankfully that did not happen.  That heaviness, against the take’s more subtle side makes for even more power here.  The handling of the even more subtle approach to the song’s album take required its own attention to detail in regards to its production.  The layering of the chanting vocals causes that element to echo in listeners’ minds.  Meanwhile, the subtlety in the chants against the main lyrical line makes for even more of an interesting effect.  Much the same can be said in how that was all balanced with the keyboard line here.  All things considered here, the production works just as well in this case as in the song’s other mixes.  The end result is a record here from Post Death Soundtrack that industrial and goth audiences will appreciate just as much as works from the duo’s more well-known counterparts. It is a record that they will agree, also, is a positive first preview of the duo’s forthcoming album.

Post Death Soundtrack’s new Pathless Land EP is a good way for the duo to give audiences their first preview of the pair’s forthcoming album It Will Come Out of Nowhere.  That is proven in part, as noted here, through all three of the arrangements of the EP’s title track.  Regardless of which rendition listeners choose, the result is a song whose arrangement is fully engaging and entertaining.  The unique lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds its own interest for listeners and is sure to create its own share of discussion and engagement.  The production of each of the song’s renditions brings everything full circle as it ensures every element of each take is balanced with the utmost precision.  That detailed attention to each arrangement’s instrumentation paid off, too.  It joins with the record’s content to make the EP sound appealing just as much as the content makes it appealing in that arena.  Each item noted is clearly important in its own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered, they make Pathless Land a presentation that charts a clear, solid path for Post Death Soundtrack’s coming album.  Pathless Land is available now.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the duo’s latest news and more at:

Website: https://postdeathsoundtrack.bandcamp.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/postdeathsound2

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.  

Stabbing Westward’s New EP Is A Welcome Surprise For The Band’s Fans

Courtesy: COP International

Stabbing Westward surprised fans Friday with the release of a new covers EP.  The four song record, Hallowed Hymns is an interesting presentation that will tide fans over while they wait for the band’s new album, Wasteland, which was scheduled for release this year, but has since been delayed until 2021.  The record proves itself as appealing as it is in part because of its featured covers.  This will be addressed shortly.  The arrangements connected with the chosen songs.  This will be addressed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  All three elements are important in their own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered, they make the record an enjoyable musical treat for Stabbing Westward’s fans and for industrial rock and metal fans alike.

Stabbing Westward’s surprise EP Hallowed Hymns is a pleasantly surprising musical treat for audiences.  That is proven in part through the record’s featured songs.  The EP is composed of three covers and a remix of one of the covers.  The covers are that of The Cure’s ‘Burn,’ which was featured in the soundtrack to the movie The Crow, Ministry’s ‘(Every Day Is) Halloween,’ and Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon.’  Stabbing Westward’s “Devil’s Night Mix” of ‘Burn’ rounds out the record.  ‘Burn’ marked the second time that The Cure was connected to The Crow.  The first was when another of the band’s songs – ‘The Hanging Garden’ – had its lyrics featured in the comic book that spawned the movie.  That the movie’s creative heads would think enough of the band’s music and that connection to include a new song for the movie’s soundtrack is a statement in and of itself.  While ‘Burrn’ was not one of the main singles from The Crow’s soundtrack, it still has stood the test of time in its own right.

‘(Every Day Is) Halloween’ stands on its own merits.  It has been highly respected by Ministry’s fans and goth fans alike.  It, along with it’s a-side companion ‘All Day’ has become a fan favorite, too.

Moving on to ‘The Killing Moon,’ the song is considered by the band’s fans as its greatest song of its catalog.  It also proved to be one of the band’s highest-charting singles.  It reached #7 in Ireland, #9 in the UK and #12 in New Zealand.  It has also been featured in the soundtracks for famous movies, such as Donnie Darko, The Girl Next Door, and Grosse Point Blank.  In other words, this song has stood the test of time just as much as its counterparts also featured in this EP.  Simply put, between this record and the EP’s other featured works, Stabbing Westward has chosen here, a selection of songs that is well-known and beloved by the fans of the bands that crafted the works.  They are not unknown works.  To that end, they in themselves will ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  They by themselves are just part of what makes the EP work as well as it does.  The band’s take on the songs adds its own interest to the record.

Stabbing Westward’s take on ‘Burn’ largely stays true to its source material.  A side-by-side shows that the only real difference between the renditions is that Stabbing Westward’s version just adds the band’s signature touch to the song.  That touch is the keyboard-driven approach that has made Stabbing Westward’s songs so unique within themselves and in comparison to other industrial/electronic rock acts out there.  This is certain to appeal to fans of The Cure because Stabbing Westward did not try to alter the song from its original form too much while also giving the song a nice added touch.

In comparison, the “Devil’s Night Mix” of ‘Burn’ gives the song even more of an extra punch.  Once again, the song stays largely true to its source material.  What is different in this case is that the band increases the prominence of the keyboards and electronics even more than in its initial cover of The Cure’s original work.  It’s something that audiences will appreciate even more.

Stabbing Westward’s take on ‘(Every Day Is) Halloween’ is another interesting presentation.  While it does stay somewhat true to Ministry’s original composition, the band’s influence is far more noticeable here than in the original work.  What’s more, Stabbing Westward’s cover is shorter than Ministry’s song by almost two whole minutes.  Just as noticeable is that the record scratching (very much a hip-hop element) that was so prominent in Ministry’s original work is nonexistent in Stabbing Westward’s update.  Odd as it may seem, that element actually adds to the song.  It is especially audible in the original song’s bridge.   Keeping all of this in mind, it is not to say that Stabbing Westward’s take is bad.  That is not the case at all.  It just is likely to split audiences even as enjoyable as it is.  In this critic’s ears, it is enjoyable.  It just has a unique identity separate from its source material.  That in itself makes the song worth hearing.

Examining the cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon,’ that song may be well-known among audiences, but this is a case where Stabbing Westward actually improved on the original.  The addition of the keyboards and electronics here gives the original song a much fuller presentation.  Audiences will largely agree, too.  All things considered, the covers featured in this recording make for plenty of reason for audiences to hear the EP.  They collectively are not the last of the EP’s notable elements.  The EP’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that was used in this surprise record is so important especially because this is a covers compilation.  Those behind the glass had to make sure that the elements of the original compositions were well-balanced with the elements that have made Stabbing Westward’s work so familiar throughout the years without losing either along the way.  The efforts that went into achieving that goal paid off, too.  It brings out the best of both worlds, as audiences will hear for themselves, to the result that the overall product’s presentation is completely rounded out.  When the production of Hallowed Hymns is considered along with the featured songs and arrangements, the whole of the EP becomes a welcome musical treat for any Stabbing Westward fan and any fan of the featured bands whose works are covered.

Stabbing Westward’s new EP Hallowed Hymns is a presentation that is certain to tide over audiences waiting for the band’s next full-length studio recording, which is expected for release in 2021.  That is due in part to the songs that the band covered in the record.  They are relatively well-known each in their own right.  The band’s take on each song stays true to the source material while adding its own trademark touch to the works.  The production that was used in melding the works brought out the best of both worlds.  Each element noted is important in its own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered, they make the EP a pleasant musical Halloween treat for audiences.

More information on Hallowed Hymns is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.stabbingwestward.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/stabbingwestward

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stabbingwestward

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

Stabbing Westward Releases Surprise Halloween-Themed EP

Courtesy: FR-PR

Stabbing Westward is giving audiences its own special Halloween treat.

The band released a new covers collection Friday. The four-song EP, dubbed Hallowed Hymns, takes on covers of songs from The Cure (‘Burn’, from the soundtrack to the movie The Crow) Ministry ((‘Every Day Is) Halloween,’) Echo and the Bunnymen (The Killing Moon), and a remix (The Devil’s Mix) of one of ‘Burn.”

Front man Christopher Hall discussed the EP’s release and other items in a prepared statement.

“2020 has been a shit year,” the statement reads. “We were supposed to release our new album and tour the U.S. to support it. But clearly that’s not happening. We know Halloween is different this year with no parties and no Trick or Treating so we wanted to give fans something special …. something that will help tie you over until we can release some new music.”

“We picked these three tracks because, for us, they represent the feeling of Halloween and they were very important songs during our early musical stages,” the statement adds. “If there were ever two bands that I would say most influenced Walter and I to form Stabbing Westward it would be Ministry and The Cure. From the earliest days of Ministry’s With Sympathy through the evolution of Twitch, they were the band that opened our minds and hearts to industrial music. To be able to reimagine these songs as Stabbing Westward while still trying to pay homage to the brilliance of the original versions was a terrifyingly fun adventure.

“We have been working on the album so hard for so long that it was really a joy to take a break and explore all these tracks had to offer,” the statement continues noting. “As often as you listen to your favorite songs it’s a totally different experience to take one apart and see how it was built. It gave me such an immense appreciation for what these amazing artists created—especially the Ministry track knowing how primitive the gear was that Al Jourgensen had to work with back then with none of the modern tools we take for granted today. He literally created new techniques in the studio that we still use today. He was light years ahead of his time. We hope you enjoy listening to these tracks as much as we have enjoyed recording them.”

Stabbing Westward’s new EP comes nine months after the release of the band’s latest recording, its new EP ‘Dead and Gone.’ The band is hoping to release its new album Wasteland in 2021.

More information on Hallowed Hymns is available along with all of Stabbing Westward’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.stabbingwestward.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/stabbingwestward

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/stabbingwestward

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Ministry Launches New Effort To Get People To The Polls

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records/

Ministry is doing its part to get people to the polls.

The band launched a new single called ‘Get Out And Vote 2020‘ Tuesday, along with a companion video. The video features a variety of images connected to this year’s general election, such as speeches made by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Mike Pence, as well as footage from the first presidential debate.

The new, thrash style song plays over the noted footage as front man Al Jourgensen reminds listeners to get to the polls in this year’s election in order to save the soul of the nation.

In related news, Ministry recently launched a new effort to get people registered to vote. The campaign encouraged any fans who were not registered to do so and earn a chance to win free Ministry memorabilia. Fans who were already registered also had the chance to win the noted memorabilia by taking part in the efforts to save the nation’s live music venues.

In even more related news, Jourgensen has curated a playlist of songs titled “The Soundtrack To Your Election” on Spotify that is composed of politically charged songs from a variety of acts.  The playlist includes and is not limited to Fear Factory’s ‘Linchpin,’ John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band’s ‘Power To The People’ and Johnny Cash’s ‘The One on the Right Is on the Left.’

More information on Ministry’s new campaigns is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.ministryband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/WeAreMinistry

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

Sami Doll Debuts ‘AN OM IE’ Video

Independent industrial rock act Sammi Doll debuted the video for its latest video this week.

Sammi Doll premiered the video for her debut single ‘AN OM IE’ Wednesday. Directed by Ron Underwood, the decidedly goth-style video features Sammi Doll in a variety of settings, each one presenting her in her goth look, black hair, makeup and attire.

Sammi Doll discussed the song’s video treatment in a recent interview.

“The video began as a concept of vignettes with director Ron Thunderwood,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to create something beautifully artistic and visually unsettling. We filmed the video over the course of four months due to quarantine restrictions, so we had the luxury of time to build on the characters. I really give my blood, insomnia, and tears to everything I do artistically and tend to think about the consequences later… but I knew I was committed when a frozen octopus from Seattle showed up at my front door…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1R8qKZkfEo&feature=youtu.beCourtesy: TAG Publicity

The song’s musical arrangement features a stylistic approach that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, and Ministry. That is evidenced through the use the keyboards, electronic drums, and guitars.

The song’s lyrical theme is meant to be a social commentary, according to Sammi Doll.

“ANOMIE theory is the state of social disintegration,” she said. “We as a society, live within this theory; and we are our own worst enemy.”

‘AN OM IE’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Sammi Doll’s new single and video is available along with all of her latest news at:

Website: http://sammidoll.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SammiDoll

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

Static-X Debuts ‘Dead Souls’ Video

Courtesy: Otsego Entertainment Group, LLC/TAG Publicity

Static-X debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘Dead Souls.’  The song is the fourth single from the band’s recently released album ProjectRegeneration Volume 1.  Its debut follows the debut of the album’s other singles ‘Bring You Down,’ ‘All These Years,’ and ‘Hollow.’

The band’s ‘Dead Souls’ video features a blindfolded woman in a forest setting seemingly controlling a masked figure in a city, who ends up capturing a man and bringing him to the forest for the apparent mystic.  The mystic ends up binding the man’s hands and leads him away as the video ends.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Dead Souls’ is an example of the change that Wayne Static displayed in his vocal performance style before his death as well as the approach to songwriting taken by Static’s band mates — Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda since Static’s passing.  Ministry founder/front man Al Jourgensen provided a guest vocal performance for the song.

Campos discussed Jourgensen’s appearance on the song in a recent interview.

“This song has become one of my favorite tracks on the record,” said Campos.  “We had no intention on doing a video for it initially, but it came out so good, we had to do it.  I’m so grateful to Al Jourgensen for singing on the track with Wayne.  Ministry was a big influence on us, and I know Wayne would’ve been just as stoked as I am to have Al sing on one of our records.  I think the video fits the song really well.  It’s dark, creepy, with just a touch of humor.”

More information on Static-X’s new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.static-x.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/staticx

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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

Blue Eyed Christ Debuts ‘Massive React’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/Distortion Productions

Blue Eyed Christ debuted the video for its new single this week.

The industrial/electronic rock act, founded by producer/engineer John D. Norten, debuted its new single ‘Massive React‘ Monday.  The song is the third single from the band’s latest album World on Fire.  Its debut follows the premiere of the videos for two other songs from the album, ‘World on Fire‘ and ‘America H.’

The song’s video takes a simplistic yet artistic approach in its presentation.  It crosses time lapse photography of people walking around in various city settings with footage of a single person running along various other backdrops.  Meanwhile, what is meant to look like glitches in a video surveillance camera are used to add to the video’s impact as it works to help translate the song’s lyrical message.

The song’s lyrical content puts forth a social commentary, also as with its predecessors, according to Norten.

“‘Massive React’ mixes a slick synth groove with processed guitars while tackling the effects that corporate greed, technology, and personal responsibility play within the world,” he said. “it was great having Jim Marcus (Go Fight, Die Warzau) on board to direct the video since we have a musical history reaching back to the 90s.”

As with the aforementioned singles, the musical arrangement at the center of ‘Massive React’ is another composition whose steady beat, electronics and vocals will appeal to fans of acts, such as Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, and Ministry.

World on Fire is available now through Distortion Productions.

More information on Blue Eyed Christ’s new single, video and album is available along with all of the act’s latest news at:

 

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/blueeyedchrist

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BlueEyedChrist

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

Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Tracklist:
1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday

 

No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now

at:

Websitehttp://www.combatrecs.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/combatrecs

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Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://davidellefson.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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.