Paladin’s New EP Is An Enjoyable Tribute To Nevermore, Promising Presentation For Paladin’s Future

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Up-and-coming metal band Paladin announced a new slate of live dates Thursday.  The almost three-week schedule, which launches April 22 in Charlotte, NC and runs through May 9 in Raleigh, NC, is in support of the band’s 2019 debut album Ascension and its follow-up, the three-song EP Anamnesis.  The latter of those two records was a tribute to Nevermore and its late front man Warrell Dane.  The record was released Dec. 13, on the second anniversary of Dane’s untimely passing.  Anamnesis is another good exhibition of the talents of Paladin’s members while also serving as a reminder of why Nevermore is still one of metal’s most important bands even though the band is not longer together.  That statement is supported through the EP’s featured songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The songs that Paladin chose are themselves good choices and representations of what made (and still makes) Nevermore an elite metal act.  Paladin’s performance of the songs adds even more engagement and entertainment value to the EP.  This will be addressed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most notable elements.  When it is considered alongside the songs featured in the EP, the whole of the record is a good tribute to Nevermore and another good example of why Paladin is one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal community.

Paladin’s new EP Anamnesis is a positive new offering from the up-and-coming metal outfit.  The group’s second studio recording, whose title means a recalling of mind, was released Dec. 13 as a tribute to Nevermore’s late front man Warrel Dane on the second anniversary of Dane’s passing.  The three-song compilation succeeds in paying tribute to Dane and Nevermore and in showing Paladin’s promise all in one.  That is due in large part to the songs that are featured in the record.  Paladin reaches as far back as Nevermore’s 1996 sophomore album The Politics of Ecstasy and as recent as the band’s 2005 album This Godless Endeavour, which would go on to become the band’s penultimate album.  The band’s fourth album Dead Heart in a Dead World is also represented in the EP.  The musical and lyrical content featured in each song builds on the engagement and entertainment generated just through the songs.  ‘Final Product’ for instance takes on the slow demise of society, taking on the impact of the media on that decline.  ‘42147’ meanwhile finds Worrell seemingly addressing his own conflicted thoughts about an unknown topic.  This, perhaps, could be a discussion on mental health.  If so, despite its brevity, it is a powerful statement in its own right.  ‘The River Dragon Comes’ is powerful in its own undeniable way, with Dane seemingly presenting a sociopolitical commentary in the song’s lyrical content.

The musical arrangement featured within each of the EP’s songs works with the songs’ lyrical content.  Case in point is the arrangement at the center of ‘Final Product.’  The arrangement is a high-energy work that does well to illustrate the frustration at what has become of the world and the causes of what has happened.  The subtleties in the arrangement within ‘The River Dragon Has Come’ serve to paint a vivid picture alongside the song’s almost biblical style lyrical content.  The coupling of those elements makes the song a powerful work in its own right.  ‘42147’ boasts a certain energy in its musical arrangement that does just as well to illustrate the inner turmoil that the song’s subject is enduring in that song.  Simply put, the arrangements at the center of each featured songs, and their companion lyrical content go a long way to show why Nevermore was (and still is) so respected within the metal and hard rock community, and why Paladin, in its cover of each song, has great promise in its own right.  The band’s performance of each featured song shows even more why Paladin has great promise for the future.

The performance that Paladin’s members display in each of the covers in its new EP does its own share to show what makes the band a promising new name in the metal community.  From start to end, the band stays true to the songs’ source material in each song while also displaying its own talents.  Front man Taylor Washington does not try to copy Dane’s delivery style, rather using his own distinct style and sound while he and fellow guitarist Alex Parra’s dual guitar approach takes Nevermore’s arrangements and gives them a whole new life without changing the songs at all.  Drummer Nathan McKinney and bassist Andy McGraw round out the arrangements, showing their expertise just as much as their band mates throughout each song.  The end result is a collection of songs that is just as enjoyable for its performances as it is for the songs themselves.  Of course, as much as the songs and their performances do for the whole of Anamnesis, they are not the record’s only important elements.  The EP’s production plays its own important part to the record’s presentation.

The production of this record is as noteworthy as the songs and their performance in that said work ensured each part of each arrangement was balanced expertly with one another.  Listeners will be glad to know that at no point in the record’s body does one line overpower the others.  That is evident partially in the “softer” brooding moments of ‘The River Dragon Has Come.’  Washington’s vocals are right in line with the guitars, ensuring each part is heard fully.  As the song progresses into its heavier moments, McKinney’s drumming and McGraw’s bass line add their own strength to the song’s whole, again thanks to the work of those behind the glass.  The musicians’ work is just as well-balanced through the much heavier ‘42147’ and ‘Final Product,’ making the record that much more engaging for listeners.  McGraw’s bass line, McKinney’s drums and Washington’s bass are balanced precisely with Parra’s guitar line in ‘42147’ to make the song in whole a tribute to Nevermore that fans of both bands will fully appreciate.  Much the same can be said of the production (and mixing) of each part in the band’s cover of ‘Final Product.’  Taking all of this into consideration, it becomes clear why the production behind each of the songs featured in Anamnesis is just as important to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves and the performances thereof.  All things considered, each noted element makes Anamnesis a strong follow-up to Paladin’s debut album and more proof of Paladin’s promise for the future while also being a fitting tribute to one of the great metal acts that preceded Paladin.

Paladin’s recently released EP Anamnesis is a strong new effort from a band that is certain to be one of the next big names in the metal community, given the right support.  As noted here, that is due to the songs featured in this three-song, the performances thereof and the production of each recording.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the EP’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Anamnesis a nice tribute to Nevermore and an equally strong presentation of Paladin’s possible future.  Audiences might be able to hear the songs featured in Anamnesis on Paladin’s upcoming live dates, which are noted below.

 

PALADIN
w/Aether Realm 
04/22 Charlotte, NCM @ Milestone Club
04/23 Atlanta, GA @ 529
04/24 Nashville, TN @ Springwater
04/25 Louisville, KY @ Mag Bar
04/26 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
04/27 Chicago, IL @ Reggies / Music Joint
04/29 Columbus, OH @ Space Bar
04/30 Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
05/01 Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar
05/02 Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus
05/03 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East / Upstairs
05/05 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
05/06 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
05/07 Baltimore, MD @ Rituals
05/08 Richmond, VA @ Wonderland
05/09 Raleigh, NC @ The Maywood

 

More information on Paladin’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://paladinatl.bandcamp.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaladinATL

 

 

 

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.

Disciples Of Verity Debuts ‘Worthy’ Lyric Video

Hard rock/metal outfit Disciples of Verity debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band — Corey Glover (Living Colour, Bowie Experience), George Pond (ex-Negative Sky), Danny Puma (Negative Sky) Corey Pierce (ex-God Forbid) and Mark Monjoy (Sekond Skyn) — released the lyric video for their song ‘Worthy’ Thursday through Revolver magazine.

The song is the lead single from the group’s forthcoming album Pragmatic Sanction, which is scheduled for release later this year through The Label Group and INgrooves. The album’s exact release date will be announced soon.  Pre-orders are open now.

‘Worthy’ features guest guitar work by Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore).  Loomis’ Nevermore influences are clear in this song alongside Glover’s vocals.  Glover said in a recent interview, the song is lyrically a work that presents a message of overcoming feelings of personal adversity.

“No matter what you’re going through as long as you’re breathing and still here to see another day, it is another chance,” he said.  “Being worthy though, that is the rub you are always trying to figure out.  The heart and mind play against each other.  Your mind says you aren’t good enough, but your heart knows you are worthy.  That said, I am here for a reason.  I am ‘WORTHY!'”

Courtesy: The Label Group/INgrooves/TAG Publicity

More information on Disciples of Verity and the band’s new lyric video is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/Disciplesofverity.

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Century Media Announces Release Date, Specs For Nevermore Box Set, Re-Issues

 

Courtesy: Century Media Records

This Friday, March 9, is going to be a big day for fans of Nevermore.

Century Media Records on Friday will release a new Nevermore retrospective box set NevermoreThe Complete Collection.  The 12-disc box set will include all of the band’s full-length studio recordings, its Year of the Voyager live recording and a disc of rarities.

Only 2,000 copies of the box set will be available.  Each box set will come complete with numbered collector’s plate, 80-page booklet with lyrics, liner notes, and pictures as well as poster flag featuring the band’s lineup from its 2005 album This Godless Endeavor.  Nevermore guitarist and drummer Jeff Loomis and Van Williams started working on this new project in 2017.  Williams created the box set’s art.

The box set’s full track listing is noted below.

NEVERMORE “The Complete Collection” Track Listing 
Disc 1Nevermore (1995)
1. What Tomorrow Knows
2. C.B.F.
3. The Sanity Assassin
4. Garden Of Gray
5. Sea Of Possibilities
6. The Hurting Words
7. Timothy Leary
8. Godmoney
– Bonus tracks –
9. The System’s Failing
10. The Dreaming Mind (Demo 1992)
11. World Unborn (Demo 1992)
12. Chances Three (Demo 1992)
13. Utopia (Demo 1992)

Disc 2In Memory (1996)
1. Optimist Or Pessimist
2. Matricide
3. In Memory
4. Silent Hedges/Double Dare (Bauhaus cover)
5. The Sorrowed Man
– Bonus tracks –
6. The Tiananmen Man (Demo 1996)
7. The Seven Tongues of God (Demo 1996)
8. Passenger (Demo 1996)
9. This Sacrament (Demo 1996)
10. 42147 (Instrumental Demo 1996)

Disc 3The Politics Of Ecstasy (1996)
1. The Seven Tongues Of God
2. This Sacrament
3. Next In Line
4. Passenger
5. The Politics Of Ecstasy
6. Lost
7. The Tiananmen Man
8. Precognition
9. 42147
10. The Learning

Disc 4Dreaming Neon Black (1999)
1. Ophidian
2. Beyond Within
3. The Death of Passion
4. I Am the Dog
5. Dreaming Neon Black
6. Deconstruction
7. The Fault of the Flesh
8. The Lotus Eaters
9. Poison Godmachine
10. All Play Dead
11. Cenotaph
12. No More Will
13. Forever

Disc 5Dead Heart In A Dead World (2000)
1. Narcosynthesis
2. We Disintegrate
3. Inside Four Walls
4. Evolution 169
5. The River Dragon Has Come
6. The Heart Collector
7. Engines Of Hate
8. The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
9. Insignificant
10. Believe In Nothing
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World

Disc 6Enemies Of Reality – Original Mix (2003)
1. Enemies Of Reality
2. Ambivalent
3. Never Purify
4. Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday
5. I, Voyager
6. Create The Infinite
7. Who Decides
8. Noumenon
9. Seed Awakening

Disc 7Enemies Of Reality – Remix & Remastered (2005)
1. Enemies Of Reality
2. Ambivalent
3. Never Purify
4. Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday
5. I, Voyager
6. Create The Infinite
7. Who Decides
8. Noumenon
9. Seed Awakening

Disc 8This Godless Endeavor (2005)
1. Born
2. Final Product
3. My Acid Words
4. Bittersweet Feast
5. Sentient 6
6. Medicated Nation
7. The Holocaust Of Thought
8. Sell My Heart For Stones
9. The Psalm Of Lydia
10. A Future Uncertain
11. This Godless Endeavor

Disc 9The Year Of The Voyager (2008) live album – CD1
1. Final Product
2. My Acid Words
3. What Tomorrow Knows/Garden Of Gray
4. Next In Line
5. Enemies Of Reality
6. I, Voyager
7. The Politics Of Ecstasy
8. The River Dragon Has Come
9. I Am The Dog
10. Dreaming Neon Black

Disc 10The Year Of The Voyager (2008) live album – CD2
1. Matricide
2. Dead Heart In A Dead World
3. Inside Four Walls
4. The Learning
5. Sentient 6
6. Narcosynthesis
7. The Heart Collector
8. Born
9. This Godless Endeavor

Disc 11The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010)
1. The Termination Proclamation
2. Your Poison Throne
3. Moonrise (Through Mirrors of Death)
4. And The Maiden Spoke
5. Emptiness Unobstructed
6. The Blue Marble and the New Soul
7. Without Morals
8. The Day You Built the Wall
9. She Comes in Colors
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy

Disc 12Rarities & Demos
1. Temptation (The Tea Party cover)
2. The Purist’s Drug
3. Crystal Ship (The Doors cover)
Recorded during the “The Obsidian Conspiracy” sessions
4. All The Cowards Hide
Recorded during the “Dreaming Neon Black” sessions
5. Chances Three
Recorded during the “Dead Heart In A Dead World” sessions
6. Love Bites (Judas Priest cover)
Recorded during the “The Politics Of Ecstasy” sessions
7. Termination Proclamation (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
8. Your Poison Throne (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
9. Emptiness Unobstructed (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
Recorded on May 18th, 2010 at the O2 Academy in London, UK
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
12. We Disintegrate (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
13. Insignificant (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
14. Engines Of Hate (Instrumental Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
15. Acoustic Instrumental (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased

An unboxing video is streaming here now.  EU fans can order the box set online here.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Along with the upcoming release of its new box set, Century Media is also planning to re-issue two of Nevermore’s classic albums — Enemies of Reality and This Godless Endeavor this spring and summer.  Enemies of Reality is scheduled to be re-issued for the first time ever May 11 on separate black and limited-edition colored gatefold 2LP+CD combo pack.  It will come with a poster.

 

 

This Godless Endeavor is scheduled to be re-issued June 15, and will also be available on separate black and limited-edition colored gatefold 2LP+CD combo pack complete with poster.

 

 

 

 

 

More information on these upcoming releases is available online along with all of the latest Nevermore news at http://www.facebook.com/nevermorefans.  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.

 

Arch Enemy Debuts Video For ‘Stolen Life’ (2015 Version)

Courtesy:  Century Media

Courtesy: Century Media

Arch Enemy is prepping to make its way across Europe tomorrow in support of its latest release, 2014’s War Eternal. As the band preps to hit the road again, it has released the video for its updated take on the song ‘Stolen Life.’

The new dizzying video and song feature the addition of former Nevermore axe man Jeff Loomis. It was filmed in Chile and both directed and produced by Carlos Toro V. (Abysmo Films). The original take of ‘Stolen Life’ is included on War Eternal. The new updated version featuring Loomis on guitar is available digitally in Europe now. It will be available for purchase in the U.S. on May 18th. Audiences can check out the new video online now via Decibel Magazine’s website at http://decibelmagazine.com/blog/2015/5/3/video-premiere-arch-enemy-stolen-life.

Founding member and guitarist Michael Amott discussed the video as well as Loomis’ addition to the band among other topics in a recent interview with the media saying, “I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we released the ‘War Eternal’ album! Time flies when you’re having fun huh?! We’re just starting up our summer tour here in Europe and there’s still a long way to go – we’re booked up till Christmas! There has been such an amazing reaction to the new music and lineup and it is really keeping us motivated. Having Jeff Loomis out with us on the road is fantastic. A fine player and a true gentleman. I’m super happy that he could throw down a couple of leads on this new exciting version of ‘Stolen Life’, it really adds some new fire to the song. On our recent tour in Latin America we had the opportunity to film a video for our new single. It was a really good experience working with the talented Abysmo team and I’m more than happy with the end result! I look forward to seeing you all out there on the road…”

Arch Enemy’s current European tour schedule kicks off tomorrow, May 5th in Lille, France and runs through December 19th in London, UK. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below:

ARCH ENEMY live:
05.05.2015 – Le Splendid – Lille, France*
06.05.2015 – L’Empreinte – Savigny-Le-Temple, France*
07.05.2015 – Le Fil – St Etienne, France*
08.05.2015 – Le Moloco – Audincourt, France*
09.05.2015 – JUZ Live Club – Andernach, Germany
10.05.2015 – ZAK – Uelsen, Germany*
11.05.2015 – Komplex 457 – Zurich, Switzerland*
14.05.2015 – Les Docks – Lausanne, Switzerland*
15.05.2015 – Audiodrome – Torino, Italy*
16.05.2015 – Rock Planet – Pinarella di Cervia (RA), Italy*
17.05.2015 – La Paloma – Nimes, France*
18.05.2015 – La Krakatoa – Bordeaux, France*
21.05.2015 – Paradise Garage – Lisbon, Portugal*
22.05.2015 – Hardclub – Porto, Portugal*
23.05.2015 – Capitol – Santiago de Compostela*
31.05.2015 – Komma – Wörgl, Austria (support by DRONE)
02.06.2015 – Barba Negra Track – Budapest, Hungary (support by DRONE)
03.06.2015 – Orpheum – Graz, Austria*
(*=supported by UNEARTH and DRONE)

04.06.2015 – Out & Loud Festival – Geiselwind, Germany
05.06.2015 – Metalfest Open Air – Pilsen, Czech Republic
06.06.2015 – Plein Air de Rock Festival – Jarny, France
19.06.2015 – Nummirock Metal Festival – Nummijarvi, Finland
20.06.2015 – Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, Belgium
21.06.2015 – Hellfest – Clisson, France
25.06.2015 – Bravalla Festival – Norrköping, Sweden
26.06.2015 – TopFest – Piestany, Slovakia
03.07.2015 – Pfeffelbach Open Air – Pfeffelbach, Germany
05.07.2015 – With Full Force Festival – Roitzschjora, Germany
17.07.2015 – Metal Collision Festival – Frankfurt, Germany
18.07.2015 – Dynamo Metal Fest – Eindhoven, Netherlands
19.07.2015 – Two Days A Week Festival – Wiesen, Austria
23.07.2015 – Metaldays – Tolmin, Slovenia
24.07.2015 – Lanzenanger Festival – Burglengenfeld, Germany

NIGHTWISH, ARCH ENEMY, AMORPHIS “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” European tour 2015
16.11.2015 – Falconer – Copenhagen, Denmark
18.11. 2015 – O2 World – Hamburg, Germany
19.11. 2015 – Heineken Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherlands
20.11. 2015 – Heineken Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherlands
21.11. 2015 – König-Pilsener-Arena – Oberhausen, Germany
23.11. 2015 – Hall Tony Garnier – Lyon, France
25.11. 2015 – POPB-Bercy – Paris, France
26.11. 2015 – Le Zénith – Toulouse, France
28.11. 2015 – St. Jakobshalle – Basel, Switzerland
29.11. 2015 – Unipol Arena – Bologna, Italy
01.12. 2015 – Zenith – Munich, Germany
03.12. 2015 – Schleyerhalle – Stuttgart, Germany
04.12. 2015 – Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany
05.12. 2015 – Arena – Nürnberg, Germany
07.12. 2015 – Tip Sport Arena Prague – Prague, Czech Republic
10.12. 2015 – Polivalenta Hall – Bucharest, Romania
14.12. 2015 – Arena – Leipzig, Germany
15.12. 2015 – Max – Schmeling-Halle – Berlin, Germany
16.12. 2015 – Rockhal – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17.12. 2015 – Lotto Arena – Antwerp, Belgium
19.12. 2015 – Wembley Arena – London, UK
For ticket buy links, please visit: www.archenemy.net

All of the latest updates on Arch Enemy’s tour is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.archenemy.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/archenemyofficial

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.

Heaven’s Cry Re-Issue Shows Band’s Versatility, Influences

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Canadian Prog-metal act Heaven’s Cry will issue two of its classic albums next Tuesday, January 8th.  The first of the pair is the band’s 2003 album, Primal Power AddictionPrimal Power Addiction opens solidly with a rather Prong style piece in the song, ‘Komma.’  Vocalist/guitarist Pierre St-Jean even sounds eerily like Prong front man Tommy Victor in this song as a result of the song’s mixing.  The song’s somewhat cryptic lyrics aside, what really stands out in this song is the precision of the band’s musicianship.  Drummer Rene Lacharite’s timing is spot on.  His ability to keep time while maintaining such polyrhythmic patterns more than shows his talent.  And the control of the guitars both during the heavier and more subdued sections of the song give it even more flare.

As impressive as ‘Komma’ is, it Primal Power Addiction offers plenty more for fans of Heaven’s Cry.  Fans will also appreciate and enjoy the band’s cover of the classic Midnight Oil tune, ‘Beds are Burning.’  Even turned into a prog-rock style piece, it still holds up to the original.  For that matter, it might even be a little better than Midnight Oil’s take on the song from its 1987 album, Dust and Diesel.  It has the same kick as the original.  But what it does here is it gives the song an extra little spice, updating it for a whole new generation.  For that, Heaven’s Cry should be proud of their cover of this rock classic.  And it makes for a fitting end to the musical journey on which listeners embark with this album.

The band’s cover of ‘Beds are Burning’ is impressive to say the least.  It shows just one of the band’s influences.  It also profiles for a moment, the band’s versatility.  Though by the time listeners get through this re-issue, they will have already seen just how versatile the band is.  Whereas the band started off with a rather Prong style work, other pieces such as ‘One of Twenty-Four’, ‘Divisions’, and ‘Waves’ seem to show influences the likes of Alice in Chains, Dream Theater, and even Nevermore.  St-Jean’s vocals greatly resemble that of Nevermore front man Warrel Dane in both ‘One of twenty-Four’ and ‘Waves.’  And the influences of the aforementioned bands are evident throughout each opus.  They, along with this album’s other tracks make for an album that any fan of the prog-metal genre will enjoy increasingly with each listen.  Primal Power Addiction will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, January 8th.  It can be ordered direct online via the Prosthetic Records store, http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/item/17422

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Between The Buried And Me Shows Its Growth Again On Its New LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The men of Between The Buried and Me have done it again.  This North Carolina based band has once again bent the needle of the metal community, crafting what can only be described as one of the most intriguing and bizarre metal records of the year.  The follow-up to the band’s 2011 LP, The Parallax:  Hypersleep Dialogues, continues the band’s tradition of taking that proverbial road less traveled, making it largely unlike any other band out there.

The Parallax II: Future Sequence takes the best elements of Lamb of God, Nevermore, Dream Theater, and The Devin Townsend Project to make an album that is an original, hands down.  The album’s opener, ‘Goodbye To Everything’ is the first strike showing how much BTBAM has grown since its split with Victory records.  With its ethereal, almost Pink Floyd style sound, it sets the stage for what’s to come.  The band follows that up with an equally interesting piece in the form of ‘Astral Body.’  The best way to describe this song is a mish-mash of Dream Theater and Lamb of God.  That’s one heck of a combination.  But it’s also one that any true open minded member of the Metal Nation will appreciate.  Things get really interesting on the album’s third track, ‘Lay Your Ghosts To Rest.’  This is where the obvious Devin Townsend influence begins to come in to play.  Note it’s where the influence begins.  As with the album’s first two songs, the various prog influences are infused throughout this record’s twelve tracks.  And while the songs on this record may not be the shortest, anyone real fan or anyone with a long enough attention span will come to appreciate the finer detail of each song.  The band’s members show on every track that they aren’t just metal heads, but well trained musicians.   By the end of this epic, listeners will have realized that they have experienced something very special, especially for a metal record.

The band is currently wrapping up its tour down under in support of The Parallax II.  It will return stateside in the first part of the New Year with a performance in the nation’s capital on February 4th.  It will have a semi-hometown show on March 10th when it performs at the Filmore in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Fans can get a listing of the band’s tour dates and all the latest news from the band online now at http://www.betweentheburiedandme, http://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial, http://twitter.com/btbamofficial, and http://www.youtube.com/btbamofficial.      

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Heaven’s Cry As Strong As Ever After Seven Year Break

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Heaven’s Cry is one of the best kept secrets of the prog-metal universe.  This Canadian prog-metal four-piece’s third record is obviously a far cry from the band’s previous par of albums.  Unlike those albums, this one seems to lean more towards the heavier end of prog-rock, whereas the others had more of a Fates Warning vibe.  The album’s opener, ‘Empire’s Doll’ can best be described as being somewhat similar to material from the likes of Nevermore and Evergrey.  Front man Pierre St. John’s vocals are very similar to that of Nevermore’s Warrel Dane.  The guitar work of Eric Jarrin (and the additional keyboard parts) adds that extra touch that makes it similar to said bands.  ‘Empire’s Doll’ is followed up by another very intriguing song in ‘Realigning.’  At one point, it sounds like something similar to Megadeth.  But then at others, it seems to conjure thoughts of classic prog rock with its guitars and keyboard.  Somehow that mix works, making for a balance that will keep audiences listening through the entire song.  Again, guitarist Eric Jarrin shines on this track.  And the drumming of Rene Lacharite keeps the energy flowing throughout the song. 

The album’s first two tracks are impressive in their own right.  But if there’s one song that really defines “Wheels of Impermanence”, it’s ‘The Hollow.’  This song is pure prog metal at its finest.  Every element of this song is perfectly balanced.  One listen through this song proves that it will undoubtedly become a fan favorite both on the album and performed live.  It’s just one of the album’s ten total tracks that make it a solid work from start to finish for any prog-metal fan.  Any one of the songs on this album could potentially be used as a single at one point or another.

The band has a big show coming up for all of its European fans next month.  It will be performing at the annual Prog Power Europe Festival Friday, October 5th in the Netherlands.  Fans can get full information on the band’s performance and all the latest news from the band online at http://www.heavenscry.com, http://www.facebook.com/heavenscry, http://www.myspace.com/heavenscryband, and http://www.youtube.com/user/heavenscryband.

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Arch Enemy’s “Khaos Legions” rise

Courtesy Century Media

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

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

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

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

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