Tetrarch To Serve As Support For Atreyu’s “Baptize U.S. 2021 Tour”

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Adrenaline PR/Atom Splitter PR/Spinefarm Records

Tetrarch has been tapped to join Atreyu for its forthcoming “Baptize U.S. 2021 Tour.”

The band’s upcoming run is in support of its new album, Unstable, which is available now through Napalm Records. The tour is scheduled to start Nov. 9 in Dallas, TX. It features performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI and Seattle, WA.

Guitarist Diamond Rowe said the band is looking forward to joining Atreyu for the tour.

“We are very excited to be hitting the road with Atreyu,” said Rowe. “It’s a great bill of bands and we are more than excited to finally get back in front of fans all over the country. We have some extremely exciting things planned for this run.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

The band’s tour schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

ATREYU ON TOUR:
WITH CROWN THE EMPIRE, TETRARCH, SAUL, + DEFYING DECAY:

11/9 — Dallas, TX  — Gas Monkey Bar And Grill 
11/10 — Houston, TX  — The Warehouse 
11/11 — New Orleans, LA  — Republic NOLA
11/13 — Daytona, FL  — Welcome to Rockville 
11/15 — Atlanta, GA  — The Masquerade
11/16 — Charlotte, NC  — The Underground
11/17 — Baltimore, MD  — Rams Head Live
11/19 — Pittsburgh, PA  — The Roxian
11/20 — Sayreville, NJ  — Starland Ballroom
11/21 — New York, NY  — Webster Hall
11/22 — Albany, NY  — Empire Live 
11/23 — Hartford, CT  — The Webster
11/24 — Worcester, MA  — The Palladium 
11/26 — Detroit, MI  — The Majestic
11/27 — Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall 
11/30 — Cleveland, OH  — The Agora 
12/1 — Grand Rapids, MI  — The Intersection 
12/2 — Joliet, IL  — The Forge
12/3 — Belvidere, IL  — The Apollo Theater AC
12/4 — Minneapolis, MN  — Skyway Theatre 
12/6 — Kansas City, MO  — The Truman
12/7 — Denver, CO  — The Summit 
12/9 — Salt Lake City, UT  — The Depot
12/10 — Boise, ID  — Knitting Factory
12/11 — Portland, OR  — Roseland
12/12 — Seattle, WA  — The Crocadile 
12/14 — Santa Cruz, CA  — The Catalyst
12/15 — San Diego, CA  — House of Blues 
12/16 — Santa Ana, CA  — The Observatory 

Also joining the tour as support are Saul, Crown The Empire, and Defying Decay.

More information on Tetrarch’s upcoming live run and its new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.tetrarchmusic.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tetrarch

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.

Forget Fear, Audiences Will Welcome Myles Kennedy’s Latest Solo LP

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Myles Kennedy either is the type who refuses to rest easy on his laurels or just cannot stand to be idle.  Between his work with Alter Bridge, his recordings with Slash, and his own solo work, Kennedy has released no less than 10 albums.  Alter Bridge’s latest album Walk The Sky was his latest record with that act, in 2019.  He released two records in 2018, one with Slash (Living the Dream), and the other being his then latest solo record, Year of the Tiger.  Alter Bridge followed up Walk the Sky with the live EP, Walk The Sky 2.0 in 2019.  Now Friday, Kennedy will follow up all of that content with the release of another record, his latest solo record, Ides of March.  The 11-song record is a presentation that shows despite Kennedy being so busy, he has not lost his step.  The record has already produced a handful of singles, each of which are impressive in their own right.  They are just a portion of what makes Kennedy’s new album so strong.  The album’s closer, ‘Worried Mind,’ is another example of what makes Ides of March succeed.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Moonshot,’ a late entry to the record, is also a prime example of what makes Kennedy’s new album work so well.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘In Stride,’ which comes early in the album’s 53-minute run, is one more example of what audiences have to expect from Ides of March.  When these songs are considered along with the album’s already released singles and the rest of the record’s songs, the whole makes Ides of March well-deserving of its own spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums.

Myles Kennedy’s latest solo record (only his second solo record), is a sign that the Alter Bridge front man has not lost a single step.  That is despite keeping himself so busy over the years.  This record’s musical and lyrical content is just as strong as anything that he has crafted as a member of Alter Bridge and alongside Slash.  As a matter of fact, the singles that the album has already released show this record to be quite the departure for Kennedy in comparison to those works.  They are just some of the songs that show the album’s strength.  ‘Worried Mind,’ which closes out the album, is another way in which the album shows the album’s strength.  The song’s arrangement – like those in the rest of the album – is unlike anything that Alter Bridge has crafted.  Not to be confused with the version made so popular by George Jones and Ray Charles, it is a bluesy ballad that starts off gently before moving in more of a Mississippi Delta Blues style composition tinged with some rock influence added for good measure.  The whole sounds like it would be an odd combination, but is in fact quite the interesting, subtle composition that is sure to engage and entertain listeners in its own right.  It is just part of what makes the song stand out.  The message of reassurance that the song’s lyrical content delivers is pure blues and rock, and will move listeners in its own right.

The positive message in the song’s lyrical content is delivered right from the song’s outset as Kennedy sings, “Don’t be scared/Do not cry/Things will get better/Just give it time/Let me hold you/Let me ease your worried mind/Let your fears/Drift and die/If for a moment/If for the night/Let me show you/Let me ease your worried mind.”  Increasingly, this sounds more like a love song, which would make sense considering the ballad-esque approach to the song’s arrangement.  Kennedy continues in the song’s second verse, “You can run/You can hide/But please remember/If you give it time…Let it ease your worried mind.”  There is one line in that verse that is difficult to decipher sans lyrics.  That aside, the central message is still clear.  This is a man who wants to be there for his woman and help her.  It is a love song and a blues song in one that assures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own powerful way.  Together with the song’s infectious blues-rock hybrid arrangement, the song in whole proves in its own way why Ides of March is a strong new offering from Myles Kennedy.  It is just one of the songs not yet used as a single that accomplishes that goal, either.  ‘Moonshot’ is another example of how much audiences have to anticipate from Kennedy’s new album.

‘Moonshot’ takes Kennedy in a direction completely opposite of ‘Worried Mind’ in its musical arrangement.  Right from the opening bars of the song, which barely tops the five-minute mark, audiences get a clear country-western vibe.  That country western sound remains throughout the song, making itself mostly known in the song’s choruses.  That sound and stylistic approach, against Kennedy’s more rock style sound here, makes for another standout musical work.  That is especially the case as Kennedy’s vocal delivery is added to the mix.  When the song’s fully immersive musical arrangement pairs with the composition’s equally powerful lyrical content, the whole becomes even more memorable.

Kennedy opens the song, singing, “I remember when/We were suiting up again/Before the end of time/We were/Living in a dream/That never seemed to cease/Never asking why/Over and over again/We took so much for granted/Still we refused to give in to the fate we’d been handed/And now it’s a moonshot/We can’t stop/Until we get back to the stars/If it’s the last chance/Then take my hand/If there’s a miracle left in your heart/It can’t be that far.”  This comes across as a sort of introspective statement that finds the song’s subject looking warmly on the past and just as optimistically to the future in terms of life in general.  The seeming statement continues in the song’s second verse as Kennedy sings, “There is joy beyond your tears/Take comfort/I am here/Let me show the way/There’s no purpose/There’s no plane/But I don’t give a damn/As long as you’re okay/Over and over again/WE took so much for granted/But still I refuse to give in/To the fate that we’ve been handed/Yes, it’s a moonshot/WE can’t stop/Until we get back to the stars/If it’s the last chance/Then take my hand/If there’s a miracle left to be found/It’s a matter of time.”  Overall, this song seems to be one of those songs that reminisces about the past and friendships more than any romantic story line.  This is even though it could be construed to be just another love song.  This story and its unique delivery works with the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement to make the song in whole yet another example of what makes Ides of March such an enjoyable work in whole.  It is just one more example of what audiences have to anticipate from the album. 

‘In Stride’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangements.  As with the other songs examined here, this song’s musical arrangement stands out separate from those works and from the rest of the album’s arrangements.  In the case of ‘In Stride,’ the arrangement is a distinct southern rock presentation that will appeal just as much to fans of that genre as to Alter Bridge fans.  It is a catchy, mid-tempo composition.  The catchy nature of the song’s musical arrangement works with its lyrical content to make it even more appealing.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘In Stride’ needs little explanation because it is such a straight forward statement.  It is a statement that, as the title infers, encourages people to just take life as it comes and not stress the little things.  This is pointed out right in the song’s chorus, in which Kennedy sings, “Cool down, baby…Sometimes you’ve gotta just let go and open your mind/Just take it all in stride.”  That is the heart of the song’s message and makes that message clear, again.  For those who might disagree, Kennedy adds to the statement in the song’s lead verse as he sings, “You can panic…impending doom is always all it takes/One day you wake up/It’ll be too late/You didn’t take it all in stride/You can tremble as you fear for your life/You can bitch about the sign of the times/But the truth is that you gotta decide/If you’re only wasting your life.”  This makes fully clear, the message here.  It continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, too, so there is no need to proceed there.  This is a song that tells all those worrywarts and panic freaks out there to just calm down and take life as it comes.  The events that have happened this week are proof that there are a lot of people who need to learn to take life in stride, too.  One can only hope that those nutjobs will take this overall statement to heart.  When this accessible message pairs with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement, the song in whole proves even more why it stands out.  When the song works with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs (including its existing singles), the whole makes Ides of March a presentation that audiences will have no reason to fear.

Myles Kennedy’s sophomore solo album, Ides of March is a strong new offering from the Alter Bridge front man.  It is a work that is certain to expand Kennedy’s audience base.  That is proven through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  Each song’s arrangement shows a different side of Kennedy and collectively shows the reach of his influences and abilities.  The songs’ lyrical themes are just as accessible because they touch on topics to which any listener will relate.  All three of the songs examined here do plenty to support the noted statements just as much as the album’s singles and the rest of the album’s works.  All things considered, they make the album one of this year’s best new rock albums.  Ides of March is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Kennedy’s latest news at:

Website: https://myleskennedy.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MylesKennedy

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.  

Myles Kennedy Announces New LP Release Date, Specs; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy will tentatively release his new solo record this spring.

Kennedy is scheduled to release his sophomore solo album, The Ides of March on May 14 through Napalm Records. Pre-orders are open. The 11-song record will be released on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

The Ides Of March will be available in the following formats:
– Digital Album
– 1 CD Jewel Case
– 1 CD Digipack (Napalm mailorder, limited to 500 worldwide)
– 2 LP Gatefold Black Vinyl
– 2 LP Gatefold Gray Vinyl 
– 2 LP Gatefold Bottle Green Transparent Vinyl (Napalm mailorder, limited to 400 worldwide)
– Die Hard Limited Edition: 2 LP Gatefold Clear Splatter Mint/Violet/White Vinyl + Aluminum Print (Napalm mailorder, limited to 300 worldwide)
– Limited Deluxe Box: Glow In The Dark Vinyl + Cover Artprint + 7” Glow In The Dark “A Thousand Words” Vinyl Demo Single + Pendant + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder, limited to 700 worldwide)

The Ides Of March tracklisting:

1) Get Along                           
2) A Thousand Words
3) In Stride
4) The Ides of March
5) Wake Me When It’s Over
6) Love Rain Down
7) Tell It Like It Is
8) Moonshot
9) Wanderlust Begins
10) Sifting Through The Fire
11) Worried Mind

In anticipation of the album’s release, Kennedy debuted the album’s lead single, ‘In Stride’ Tuesday, along with the song’s companion video. The video is presented stylistically in the same fashion as Alter Bridge’s video for its single ‘Native Son,’ with origami style visuals used to address everything going on in the world as Kennedy sings over the whole, reminding audiences they need to just calm down.

Those words of wisdom sit at the heart of the song’s lyrical theme, according to Kennedy himself.

“Chill out. That pretty much sums it up,” he said.  “The lyric paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse. It was inspired by the first wave of lockdowns as everyone was buying vast amounts of toilet paper and supplies. I started to ask myself if it might be wise to try and gain some perspective and not overreact… keep calm and carry on.”

More information on Myles Kennedy’s new album, single, and video is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: https://myleskennedy.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MylesKennedy

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.

Mushroomhead To Host “Shroomhouse” Double Feature Music Video Premiere Sunday

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Mushroomhead will debut two new videos this weekend.

The band announced Friday through a news release that it will debut videos Sunday for its singles ‘Madness Within’ and ‘Carry On.’ The songs are featured in the band’s most recent album A Wonderful Life (2020). The album has already produced the singles ‘Seen It All‘ and ‘The Heresy.’

This weekend’s “Shroomhouse” Double Feature is scheduled to take place at noon ET. It will also feature a simultaneous live chat with the band through its official YouTube channel. Additionally, fans who take part in Sunday’s live chat will have the chance to win Mushroomhead merchandise, such as a signed “Shroomhouse” signed lithograph.

More information on Mushroomhead’s forthcoming album is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.mushroomhead.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/mushroomheadofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mushroomhead

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.

Children of Bodom Founder Alexi Laiho Passes

Photo Credit: Terhi Ylimainen

Another famed musician has passed.

Children of Bodom founding member/guitarist Alexi Laiho died last week. The announcement was made in a news release distributed Monday from Napalm Records.

The release states Laiho had been found last week in his home in Helsinki, FInland, but does not note a cause of death. According to a posting from Laiho’s family to the band’s official website, Laiho “had suffered from long-term health issues during his last years.”

Laiho founded Children of Bodom in 1993 and was a member up until the band’s end in December 2019. He founded another group, Bodom After Midnight, last year. The group recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will now be released posthumously.

Bodom After Midnight members Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen, and Waltteri Varynen released a prepared statement experssing their thoughts on the news of Laiho’s pasing.

“We are crushed by the sudden passing of our dear friend and band member,” the statement reads. “Words cannot describe this shock and the profound sadness that we feel.”

Laiho’s wife Kelli Wright-Laiho also opened up about the news of his passing with her own prepared statement.

“Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father,” she said. Our hearts are eternally broken.”

Additionally, Laiho’s sister also addressed his passing.

“We are all absolutely shocked and devastated,” she said. “We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother’s funeral will take place privately.”

More information on Children of Bodom is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.cobhc.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cobhc

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.

Alter Bridge Debuts ‘Last Rites’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Alter Bridge debuted the video lyric video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Last Rites,’ which is featured in the band’s new live recording Walk The Sky 2.0. The recording is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.

The record will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Walk The Sky 2.0 will be available in the following formats:
-Jewelcase CD
-Jewelcase CD + Shirt (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ex-North America)
-Cream Vinyl LP Gatefold
-Inkspot Yellow/Black Marbled Vinyl LP Gatefold (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 150 copies in North America)
-2-CD Earbook [+Walk The Sky(Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 300 copies)
-Digital Album [+Walk The Sky]

‘Last Rites’ is the recording’s sole studio recording, while its other recordings all live material.

‘Last Rites’ was written, recorded and produced this year during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  The song captures a lot of the energy and mindset of everything happening today as a result of the pandemic.  That is presented in part through the song’s heavy, guitar-driven arrangement.  While the musical arrangement featured in this composition is mostly what audiences have come to expect from Alter Bridge, the song will also appeal to fans of Alice in Chains.  That is because there are moments throughout the arrangement echo the dual vocal approach for which Alice in Chains came to be known over the years.  The pairing of these two elements make for quite the engaging and entertaining work in its own right.  When the musical arrangement is paired with the song’s equally hard hitting lyrical theme, the song gains even more impact.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Last Rites’ comes across as a social statement of sorts.  That is especially in the song’s chorus, in which front man Myles Kennedy sings, “The future’s all but written” before telling listeners to prepare for the death of their way of life.  Going backward, he sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the future/Yeah/The writing’s on the wall/And it don’t’ look that good to me/Tear out the sutures put in place to save us all/Well that’s your right/But wait and see/You don’t know where this goes/Wait until tomorrow/You don’t know/Where this goes/One day you will see.”  This points at a statement that perhaps people need to be sure of what they are doing before they go and do it.  This is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse, which finds Kennedy singing, “Protest the boundaries/Put in place that hold you down/Scream in defiance/Storm the gates…In the end you’ll seal our fate.”  From here Kennedy and company return to the song’s chorus, which reminds listeners that “the future’s all but set in stone…there’s no time to wallow in the undertow.”  Again, this hints at a message of being sure we know what we are doing and why, whether it be in reaction to everything going on in the world’s current age or any other time.  This is purely this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Regardless, what can be inferred from this is that the song is clearly a commentary, and a hard hitting one at that.

Alter Bridge’s lyric video for ‘Last Rites’ is just its latest video. The band debuted the video for its song ‘Native Son‘ last month. That song is featured in the band’s album Walk The Sky, which was released last year.

The stop motion style video was created by Stefano Bertelli.  It uses origami along with stop motion to tell the song’s story and opens in the old west town of Deadwood.  The town eventually crumbles away and is replaced by a futuristic city, and at the center of it all is an unidentified figure who is struggling to survive through all of the changes. The visualization is meant to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content, whose chorus finds front man Myles Kennedy singing, “I’m a native son in a foreign land/I’m just living in a world I can’t understand.”

More information on Walk The Sky 2.0 and Alter Bridge’s new single and video is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/alterbridge

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.

Dee Snider, Lizzy Hale Partner For Hard Rock Holiday Tune

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

Dee Snider has partnered with Lizzy Hale for a new version of Snider’s holiday song, ‘The Magic of Christmas Day.’

The song is scheduled for release Nov. 13 through BFD/The Orchard. Pre-saves are open.

Snider offered some history behind his song during a recent interview.

“Originally written and recorded as a Christmas gift for my wife Suzette with no plan for commercial release, years later ‘The Magic of Christmas Day (God Bless Us Everyone)’ was discovered and recorded by Celine Dion for her holiday record These Are Special Times, which went on to become the biggest selling holiday album in history — and is the reason we refer to her as ‘Saint Celine’ in my house,” he said. “When it was recently suggested that I should finally record this song myself, I knew I needed to bring in a young powerhouse vocalist to not only duet with me, but light a Yuletide fire under my ass! I only knew of one rock vocalist who could deliver on all those fronts, and she did in spades: the incredible Lzzy Hale of Halestorm!” 

Hale offered her own comments, expanding on Snider’s statements.

“If you’re ever in your life gonna go full on, all gas, no brakes ‘Christmas Cheer,’ you do it Dee Snider-style. I was so honored to get the call from Dee on his holiday classic ‘The Magic of Christmas Day.’ After exchanging a few very affectionate ‘f@&k yous’ as we rediscovered our respect and admiration for each other’s talent, the final recording produced by the legendary Jeff Pilson is insanely epic. Thank you so much to everyone for having me. And considering we will ALL be experiencing a very different holiday season in 2020, I hope that this song brings you joy and puts a smile on your face. God bless us everyone!”

More information on the forthcoming release of Snider’s song is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttp://deesnider.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/facedeesnider

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/deesnider

More information on Halestorm is available along with all of Lizzy Hale’s news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LZZYHALE

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.

Alter Bridge’s New Live Recording Leaves Listeners Wanting More In The Best Way Possible

Courtesy: Napalm Records

With live, in-person concerts all but extinct thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, lots of acts are doing their part this year to help audiences get their live music fix.  Between drive-in concerts and live recordings, audiences are getting their fix thanks to the noted efforts.  Veteran hard rock band Alter Bridge is just the latest in the mass of musical acts to help keep live music alive.  The band is scheduled to release its new live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 Nov. 6 through Napalm Records.  The 31-minute recording is brief, offering up only six live tracks, but it also offers a new studio track.  Each noted element will receive its own attention here.  They are just part of what makes the recording so appealing.  The sequencing of the live content is also worth noting here.  When all three elements are considered together, they make the recording a presentation that while maybe not a full-length live recording, still a success in its own right.

Alter Bridge’s forthcoming live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 is a welcome new presentation from the veteran hard rock band.  It might not be a full-length live recording, but it still does its own share to entertain and engage audiences.  That is proven in part through the six live performances that are featured in the recording.  The live recordings in question are of songs featured in the band’s latest album Walk The Sky.  While the track listing may not be Walk The Sky in its entirety, but it is almost half of the album.  What’s more, audiences get in these live recordings a selection of songs that pulls from the beginning, middle, and end of the album in question.  In other words, the band pulled from as much of the album as possible, rather than focusing on just one portion of the record.  Simply put, the live material featured here overall gives audiences a rich, vivid picture of Walk The Sky.  The only down side to the whole is that Napalm Records’ officials and the band only made this recording, whose songs were captured back in January and February during the band’s live run in support of Walk The Sky, available on CD and digital platforms.  It is unavailable on DVD and Blu-ray.  Maybe in due time.  Getting back on topic, the live songs alone are just a portion of what makes Walk The Sky 2.0 such a successful new live recording from Alter Bridge.  The sequencing of the featured songs plays into the recording’s presentation, too.

Audiences will note in listening to Walk The Sky 2.0 that the sequencing of the performances was very deliberate.  The songs are mostly heavy, save for ‘Godspeed’ and the slightly more amped up ‘In The Deep.’  The first of the pair serves as a good way to break up the recording’s energy while the latter presents itself as a good, gradual crescendo of sorts back to the recording’s initial energy.  The overall effect of the sequencing is that audiences’ engagement and entertainment is that much more ensured throughout.  This element and the recording’s songs themselves join to more than make Walk The Sky 2.0 worth hearing.  They are but a portion of what makes the recording successful, too.  The recording’s featured new studio recording ‘Last Rites’ puts the final touch to its presentation.

‘Last Rites’ was written, recorded and produced this year during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  The song captures a lot of the energy and mindset of everything happening today as a result of the pandemic.  That is presented in part through the song’s heavy, guitar-driven arrangement.  While the musical arrangement featured in this composition is mostly what audiences have come to expect from Alter Bridge, the song will also appeal to fans of Alice in Chains.  That is because there are moments throughout the arrangement echo the dual vocal approach for which Alice in Chains came to be known over the years.  The pairing of these two elements make for quite the engaging and entertaining work in its own right.  When the musical arrangement is paired with the song’s equally hard hitting lyrical theme, the song gains even more impact.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Last Rites’ comes across as a social statement of sorts.  That is especially in the song’s chorus, in which front man Myles Kennedy sings, “The future’s all but written” before telling listeners to prepare for the death of their way of life.  Going backward, he sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the future/Yeah/The writing’s on the wall/And it don’t’ look that good to me/Tear out the sutures put in place to save us all/Well that’s your right/But wait and see/You don’t know where this goes/Wait until tomorrow/You don’t know/Where this goes/One day you will see.”  This points at a statement that perhaps people need to be sure of what they are doing before they go and do it.  This is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse, which finds Kennedy singing, “Protest the boundaries/Put in place that hold you down/Scream in defiance/Storm the gates…In the end you’ll seal our fate.”  From here Kennedy and company return to the song’s chorus, which reminds listeners that “the future’s all but set in stone…there’s no time to wallow in the undertow.”  Again, this hints at a message of being sure we know what we are doing and why, whether it be in reaction to everything going on in the world’s current age or any other time.  This is purely this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Regardless, what can be inferred from this is that the song is clearly a commentary, and a hard hitting one at that.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally heavy musical arrangement, the whole of the song impresses as much as the rest of the band’s catalog.  Additionally, the song shows that the band still has plenty of heaviness and fire under its collective backsides, meaning it gives audiences plenty to expect in the near future from the band, in terms of new studio material, too.  When this is taken into consideration alongside the success of Walk The Sky 2.0’s live material and its sequencing, the whole of the recording becomes a welcome new way for audiences to get their live Alter Bridge fix while also tiding audiences over until the band releases its next studio album or DVD/BD release of Walk The Sky 2.0.

Alter Bridge’s new forthcoming live recording Walk The Sky 2.0 is a successful new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  That is proven in part through the recording’s live material, which all comes from the band’s latest album and performances captured early this year in support of said record.  The sequencing of said songs adds its own special touch to the recording overall.  The sequencing ensures the recording’s energy rises and falls in all of the right moments.  The new studio recording Last Rites puts the finishing touch to the recording, as it is just as powerful musically and lyrically as any of the band’s existing compositions.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the recording in whole a presentation that any Alter Bridge fan will appreciate, even being available only on digital, vinyl, and CD platforms.

The record will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

Walk The Sky 2.0 will be available in the following formats:
-Jewelcase CD
-Jewelcase CD + Shirt (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ex-North America)
-Cream Vinyl LP Gatefold
-Inkspot Yellow/Black Marbled Vinyl LP Gatefold (Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 150 copies in North America)
-2-CD Earbook [+Walk The Sky(Napalm Records Mailorder only, ltd to 300 copies)
-Digital Album [+Walk The Sky]

More information on Walk The Sky 2.0 and Alter Bridge’s new single and video is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/alterbridge

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.

‘Live! Against The World’ Is HammerFall’s Best Live Recording Yet

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Live, in-person concerts have been hard to come by this year.  That goes without saying.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has all but wiped out live shows.  If not for live streams and so-called “drive-in” concerts, live music would be gone.  The noted shows are just a couple of ways that acts across the musical universe have worked to bring live music to audiences.  It would seem that as a result of the pandemic’s impact, audiences have also seen a rise in the number of live recordings released this year, too.  That is just this critic’s own take and could be incorrect.  Though, it certainly seems that live recordings have been more prominent this year than in the past.  Veteran power metal band HamemrFall will join the ranks of those countless acts who have released live recordings this year when it releases its new live recording Live! Against the World Friday through Napalm Records.  Only the band’s third ever live recording, this 20-song performance is everything that the band’s longtime fans could hope for.  That is thanks in no small part to its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list adds to the recording’s appeal, and will be discussed a little later.  The performance’s production rounds out its most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make Live! Against The World HammerFall’s best live recording yet and one of the year’s top new live DVDs/BDs.

HammerFall’s forthcoming live recording Live! Against The World is a wonderful way for the band’s fans to get their live fix now and even after the global COVID-19 pandemic ends, whenever that might be.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  The extensive 20-song set list clocks in at just under two hours, and is the very definition of career-spanning.  Given, the concert – recorded Feb. 15, 2019 at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg, Germany – was mainly in support of the band’s then latest album Dominion, but it pulled songs from every single one of the band’s 11 albums.  Dominion is only represented by five songs, as a matter of fact.  Other albums only get one nod, while others get two to three.  Regardless, what the band has done here is given audiences the widest possible cross section of its catalog.  That includes some well-known songs and even some deeper cuts mixed in for good measure.  Simply put, the expansive set list that is featured in Hammerfall’s new live recording creates a solid foundation for this presentation.  It is just one part of what makes this recording such an appealing presentation.  The band’s performance of the set list does its own share to make the recording so engaging and entertaining.

The performance of the concert’s featured set list is powerful in its own right.  Right from the show’s opening in ‘Never Forgive, Never Forget,’ the energy runs high.  Front man Joacim Cans’ vocals soar here while his band mates – Oscar Dronjack (guitar), Pontus Norgren (guitar), Fredrik Larsson (bass), and David Wallin (drums) – each shine in their own right.  The time keeping is solid while the harmonies between the guitars and bass, and the guitar solos absolutely soar.  The show’s energy stays high from that point on through, with the only moments of rest coming occasionally between songs when Cans taking the time to interact with the audience.  Even those moments are themselves rare.  What’s more, even in a slightly slower song, such as ‘Hollwed Be My Name,’ the band still manages to keep the audience entertained simply by performing the song.  That in itself is a statement.  The over-the-top guitar solos are kept to a minimum, with the band opting instead to present the songs as they were on record for the most part.  The result is a concert performance that lets the band’s talents shine through from beginning to end, rather than relying on a bunch of theatrics.  It is another solid testament to the recording’s appeal and to the band’s ability to entertain audiences.  It is just one more way in which the recording proves itself so appealing, too.  The recording’s overall production rounds out its most important elements to bring everything together.

The production of HammerFall’s new live recording Live! Against the World is important to note because it gives audiences the best seat in the house.  The camera angles and transitions keep right up with the energy in the songs, enhancing the experience even more. Audiences will appreciate the seeming drone shots that take them up above the crowd, looking down at various points throughout the concert. Whether it its a drone shot or a crane shot, the fact of the matter here is that this is a unique style shot that is not often used in live rock recordings. There is something special about being able to look down and see the audience moving en masse as the fists pump and heads bang in time with the music. It instills a certain positive feeling in audiences as they see it happen The various on-stage shots that come from just below the stage and even on the stage gives viewers that up close and personal experience that they otherwise would not have likely gotten. The wide shots give audiences an appreciation for the venue’s makeup and the sheer devotion of the fans as they see how packed the concert hall was for the show. The shots used for the pyro effects add their own touch to the presentation. They are captured at just the right locations and angles to fully capture the immensity of the plumes of fire. One can almost imagine how hot the flames must have been. Noting again the transitions between all of the noted shots, they are so smooth throughout. They help to translate the energy exuded by the band and audience alike without leaving viewers feeling dizzied. As a result, they and the shots themselves do even more to enrich the viewing experience.

On a related note, the recording’s audio production is just as impressive as its video. The audio production is exactly what audiences should hope for.  The instrumentation is expertly balanced, even as bombastic as that collective is.  The vocals are right there with the instruments, too.  Considering the size of the concert hall, all of this is important in regards to making sure the sound was balanced and did not just echo throughout the venue. Those efforts paid off, too.

HammerFall’s forthcoming live recording Live! Against The World is an impressive presentation that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as those who are less familiar with the band’s catalog.  That is proven in large part through the recording’s featured set list.  The expansive 20-song set list clocks in at just under two hours and is in fact a truly career-spanning retrospective.  The band’s performance of the set list will keep audiences engaged and entertained from beginning to end.  The production, at least in regards to the recording’s CD platform, is appealing in its own way.  It leaves the concert sounding good just as much as the content makes it “appear.”  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, this presentation is HammerFall’s best live recording to date and one of this year’s absolute best new live recordings.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on the recording is available along with all of HammerFall’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.hammerfall.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HammerFall

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.  

‘Dealing With Demons I’ Is Some Of Devildriver’s Best Work To Date

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Metalcore band Devildriver is scheduled to release its latest album this week.  The band’s ninth album and eighth album of original content – its 2018 record Outlaws ‘Til The End Volume 1 is a covers compilation – Dealing With Demons I is a powerful new offering from the band.  The four singles that the album has already produced are their own clear examples of that strength.  They are just some of the examples of its strength.  ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ is another key way in which this album shows its strength.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Vengeance is Clear’ is another notable addition to the album that builds its presentation even more.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Scars Me Forever,’ which closes out the album, is one more example of what makes Dealing With Demons I another strong new offering from the veteran metalcore band.  When this trio of songs is considered along with the album’s singles and its other works, the whole of the album will make it that much more difficult for critics to choose the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Dealing With Demons I, Devildriver’s first new record of new material in more than four years, is a fiery return for the band.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content.  The four singles that the record has produced have already more than proven that.  They are not the only songs that show what makes this record such a strong presentation.  ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.  The song stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement is very much unlike most of the album’s other arrangements in that it takes a more sludge/doom style approach instead of the faster, shredders that fill out the album.  Even being a slower work in terms of its tempo, this arrangement is still heavy and intense in its own right.  What is interesting is that even being slower, the approach taken here still manages to translate the frustration expressed through the song’s lyrical content.  The band could have made this arrangement something more intense and up-tempo and it would have worked, too.  But choosing the slower, heavier work still works just as well.  It paints the picture of someone whose frustration is boiling just under the surface and ready to explode.  That frustration is translated just as well through the song’s lyrical content.

Front man Dez Fafara addresses those frustrations clearly in the song’s lead verse, noting, “Don’t need your validation/Just keep your approval/Don’t need your invite/It’s all right by me!/Abusing/Confusing/I’m only refusing to let this effect ME anyhow!/Nobody gets me here/I’m a loner…/Always choosing to be out of place.”  That frustration is just as clear in the song’s second verse, which finds Fafara singing, “Don’t send your condolence/Just keep your opinion/Don’t need your so sorry/It’s all fine by me!/It’s Abusing/So confusing/I’m refusing/To let this define me anyhow!/Nobody gets me here/I’m a loner… Always choosing to be out of place.”  The song’s third and final voice puts that proverbial nail in the coffin as Fafara sings, “Hanging cold corpses off the holy highway/Leaving dead bodies in life’s wake!/So drained from seeking sympathy/From a dead hearted society/That could care less about humanity anyway!”  This is someone who is just sick and tired of trying to please others and be what others want.  It is someone who is fed up with the holier than thou attitudes of so many, and is making that frustration clear.  The fire in the song’s lyrics couples with the noted powerhouse musical arrangement to translate that emotion and those thoughts that much better.  All things considered, they make ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ another unquestionable example of why Dealing With Demons I such an impressive new offering from Devildriver.  It is hardly the last of the ways in which the album proves its strength.  ‘Vengeance is Clear’ is another way in which the record exhibits its strength.

Where ‘You Give Me A Reason to Drink’ succeeds through its slower, plodding sludge metal approach, ‘Vengeance is Clear’ takes the exact opposite approach.  This driving opus is an intense composition whose guitar, bass and drums equally share the spotlight.  When Fafara’s vocals are added to the mix, the result is an arrangement that will appeal just as much to the band’s longtime fans and metal fans in general.  The whole does its own impressive part in translating the equally intense emotions in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Vengeance is Clear’ come across as a very introspective thought from Fafara.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I feel so trapped in my own head/I replay everything that you’ve said/I can’t escape this desperate feeling/Overwhelmed by my consuming dread/I’m looking in the mirror/Eyes full of doubt and fear/No time to settle scores/So no more/Thy will is done, no explanation, no rhyme or reason, no more.”  The song’s second verse adds its own share of interest as Fafara sings, “A f***ing nod to the guilty/Undone by their woes/Don’t torture yourself by the seeds they sew/It’s an end to the story/A chapter to be closed/I’m locked up in a vault/I’m loyal to a fault/All this life I’ve waited through the rain/Never to feel this weight again/I swore to the thunder, I summoned the rain/I prayed down in the dirt/Never to fall again/Under the skin we’re all just blood and bone/I’ve hit the walls so many times/Can’t remember them all.”  These words express a very intense and serious emotion and some very heavy thoughts.  The statement in the song’s chorus, which finds Fafara screaming, “Do or die/What’s done is done/Do or die/Vengeance is clear” intensifies the song’s statement even more.  It’s as if there is a certain resolute feeling here that counters the thoughts and feelings expressed in the verses.  It’s like the subject is saying here that for all of the negative thoughts and feelings he is having, he will persevere.  This is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Regardless, the lyrical content definitely will resonate with listeners and together with its companion musical content, will generate even more discussion and engagement among listeners.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song is just one more way in which Dealing with Demons I puts its strength on display.  ‘Scars Me Forever’ is one more example of how much the album has to offer.

‘Scars Me Forever’ crosses the band’s fierce guitar approach with the sludge/doom approach of ‘You Give Me A Reason to Drink’ to make the arrangement in whole a powerful finale for the album and another unique addition to the record.  The heaviness in the drums, guitar and bass is so powerful.  The addition of Fafara’s screams to the composition deepens the song’s impact even more.  When it is joined with the song’s lyrical content, the two elements together make the song (and album) that much more unforgettable.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Scars Me Forever’ comes across as someone confronting a familiar topic, that of a broken relationship and its impact on the subject.  That is made relatively clear in the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which Fafara sings, “You smile and it scars me forever, you live life like a wild god. You said these ties would never sever! You said never never. Sit in my room and I think of the future, sit in my room and I think of the past. Going down the rabbit hole, try to hold on, but I’m sliding down fast. Fast! When everything is not what it seems to be/I got to pack up my days and nights/Walk away and leave.”  Again, this is a familiar topic and situation for any listener, making it easily accessible in its own right.  The song becomes even more accessible and relatable as Fafara sings in the song’s second verse, “All good must now just come to an end/I’m so sick of your scene and your friends/Intuition makes it so easy to call it quits and set this free/Sit in my room and I think of the future/Sit in my room and I think of the past/Going down rabbit hole, I try to hold on, but I’m sliding down fast/Fast!”  The song’s third and final verse puts the accent to the noted statement as Fafara sings, “Would it be so easy for you to watch me go?/So walk out that door forever/We said never, never!/Never!/You laugh and it scars me forever/Don’t leave so easily/You said these ties would never sever/You said never/Never!”  This relatively straight forward discussion will connect with so many listeners.  Together with the intensity in the song’s musical arrangement, the song becomes that much more powerful.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here, the album’s current singles and the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole becomes undeniably, a candidate for its own spot on what are sure to be some very crowded lists of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Devildriver’s latest album Dealing with Demons I is a record with which any hard rock and metal fan will want to deal.  That is proven time and again throughout the record in its musical and lyrical content.  Each of the songs noted here, its singles and other songs show that with the fullest clarity.  The musical arrangements are so heavy and rich, and the lyrics accessible in their own right.  All things considered, they make this record some of Devildriver’s best work to date.

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.devildriver.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/devildriver

 

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.