TesseracT Claims Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Kscope records

This year has been a truly productive time for the metal community.  Veteran acts, up-and-comers and even the underground have produced offerings that have given the metal masses more than enough reason to put their horns in the air all year long.  The most notable acts who have released standout albums this year include, and are not limited to  from All Hail The Yeti, Judas Priest and Artillery just to name a few bands.

Keeping this in mind, rock and metal critics the world over will have to agree that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings was a monumental task.  That was especially the case for this critic.  This critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums features new albums from bands from both sides of the Atlantic and from the mainstream and the underground.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list from Phil’s Picks is none other than the British prog-metal outfit TesseracT, Sonder.  The band’s latest offering is both musically and lyrically a truly in-depth offering that holds its own in the metal community and the prog community.

Second place this year goes to Florida’s own Nonpoint.  The band’s aptly-titled is a powerhouse offering from the veteran hard rock band that shows Nonpoint as a band at the top of its game both musically and lyrically.

Judas Priest takes the bronze this year with its new album Firepower.  This one was not an easy choice to make, as Nonpoint, Judas Priest and TesseracT are all outstanding bands in their own right.  Firepower harkens back to some of Judas Priest’s best work from days long gone, and is such a welcome album.  With lyrics that pay tribute to the military, that make a bold statement of standing up for one’s self and more, it is that much stronger, so it was not with ease that the album ended up in third.

Also featured in this year’s list are new albums from Artillery, All Hail The Yeti and Soulfly just to name a few more. As always, the top 10 albums are the main list while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  With all of this in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. TesseracT — Sonder
  2. Nonpoint — X
  3. Judas Priest — Firepower
  4. Between The Buried and Me — Automata
  5. Soulfly — Ritual
  6. Sevendust — All I See Is War
  7. All Hail The Yeti — Highway Crosses
  8. Exmortus — The Sound of Steel
  9. Artillery — The Face of Fear
  10. The Amsterdam Red Light District — Sapere Aude
  11. Ice Nine Kills — The Silver Scream
  12. Black Label Society — Grimmest Hits
  13. Unearth — Extinction(s)
  14. Atreyu — In Our Wake
  15. Zardonic — Become

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.

Advertisements

Nonpoint Debuts ‘Wheel Against Will’ Video

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Nonpoint released its latest music video this week.

The band debuted the video for its latest single ‘Wheel Against Will‘ on Wednesday. The song is the fourth single to be released from the band’s new album X since the album’s release on Aug. 24 via Spinefarm Records.

The band debuted the album’s first two singles, ‘Chaos & Earthquakes‘ and ‘Dodge Your Destiny‘ in June. The album’s third single ‘Fix This‘ debuted only weeks later in July via Loudwire, while the official video for ‘Chaos & Earthquakes’ followed in August.

The new ‘Wheel Against Will’ video places the up-tempo opus and its seeming sociopolitical commentary against a visualization of the band at work in the studio.  Mixed into the video is footage of front man Elias Soriano up close and personal reciting the song’s lyrics while friends recite the song’s chorus and drummer Robb Rivera practices his part in what looks like a hotel room.

Eagle-eyed audiences will note Rivera sporting a Machine Head pullover in some of the scenes as a bonus of sorts.  It is not known if these scenes were shot before or after Machine Head announced its breakup over the summer.

Nonpoint is currently wrapping its tour with P.O.D., which is touring in support of its own new album, Circles.  The remaining live dates on the bands’ tour are noted below.

NONPOINT ON TOUR:
12/11: Lynchburg, VA @ Phase 2
12/12: Greensboro, NC @ Cone Denim
12/14: Destin, FL @ Radio Show Club LA

More information on Nonpoint’s new video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

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.

Nonpoint’s New Album “X” Is Among The Band’s Best Work To Date

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Veteran hard rock band Nonpoint is set to release its tenth full-length studio recording next month, and it goes without saying that considering the three singles that the band has already released, this album is one that audiences across the board will appreciate and enjoy. That should be no surprise either, considering all that the band has had to offer its audiences over the course of the past 20 years.  It certainly has proven to be no surprise to the band, as drummer Robb Rivera pointed out in a recent interview.  “As long as people want us to keep writing records, we’re going to keep writing records, Rivera said.  “We have a special understanding in the studio, and the chemistry has only gotten better.  We live for every moment on stage. We don’t ever want to stop.”  Front man Elias Soriano agreed, saying, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t be on our tenth record.”  He went on to explain that the band “really took our time” with this record because “we wanted to do something serious for number ten.”  The trio of singles already released from this record show without doubt that taking such time and creating a record for the fans has paid off.  Of course, they are just a small sampling of the direction that the band has taken this time out.  Right from its outset, this record shows Nonpoint as a band that is taking a decidedly new direction this time out.  That opener, ‘Empty Batteries’ is just one of the album’s high points and will be discussed shortly.  The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel’ – the album’s penultimate entry – is another example of the band’s growth in this album.  It will be discussed a little bit later on.  ‘Wheel Against Will’ is yet another example of the band’s turn in this record.  Between these songs, the trio of singles already released and the remaining four songs not noted here, the end result is another solid offering from Nonpoint and a record that fans new and old alike will appreciate.

Nonpoint’s forthcoming full-length studio recording X has been a long time coming, but it is also a record that is certain to appeal just as much to the band’s most seasoned fans as those who might not be as familiar with the band’s catalog.  That is thanks, as Soriano noted, the band took so much time in composing the album’s songs, paying such close attention to each work.  That attention created 10 songs that reach back through the band’s catalog and that also offer audiences something new, such as the album’s opener ‘Empty Batteries.’  Considering the song’s title, it’s an ironically (likely intentionally placed, too) titled work.  That’s because it shows at least musically to be a work that exhibits Nonpoint as having anything but empty batteries.  Right from its outset, listeners get a musical arrangement whose thrash approach conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage while also adding in the band’s own signature sound.  The end result is an arrangement that in itself is certain to keep listeners fully engaged while also entertaining said audiences.  Of course it is only one part of what makes the song such a strong start for this record.  Its lyrical content strengthens its presentation even more.

Front man Elias Soriano said in an interview of this song’s theme that it centers on that need to keep going in life, no matter what.  “For the most part, it’s really about looking inside,” Soriano said of the song’s lyrical theme.  “You’re reaching down, getting into a battle with yourself and realizing there’s more to be done.  A lot of people need coaching or permission to fill their batteries—but they can do it themselves.  They simply need to have a dream and a goal.  You’re getting the last little bit of gusto, refilling it and going again.”  That message comes through clearly as Soriano raps over the song’s heavy musical side, “I won’t let you die off/This isn’t that holiday feeling at all/Put away decorations/Relax on a meditation/Medication stacked in fact it’s black and white/Stacked and used against us all/It’s an abomination/Revelation, evolution revolution.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus alongside his band mates, “Transaction/Unsatisfactory/Compassion/An empty battery/They’ll make the time machines/Then they turn 18/Transaction/Unsatisfactory.”  The group adds to the chorus in its final refrain, “Turning the light into something I can bear/Into something/Just to find out that its worthless in the end.”  This serves even more to speak to the song’s message.  As Soriano noted, so many people think they need permission and coaching to fill their batteries.  That’s when that something created is something worthless in the end.  It’s when someone fills his or her batteries on his or her own that those batteries really get recharged and create something meaningful.  It’s a strong message, and one from which so many people will take some motivation and personal illumination.  When that message is considered along with the song’s hard-driving musical arrangement, that arrangement serves even more in hindsight to capture the emotion in said message.  The pairing does plenty to show what makes this song a strong entry in itself.  In a bigger sense, it serves well to show the positive growth from Nonpoint in this record.  It is only one of the album’s entries that serves to support that later statement.  The far more contemplative ‘Feel The Way I Feel,’ which comes much later in the album’s run, is another example of what makes X another positive effort from Nonpoint.

‘Feel The Way I Feel’ is one of those songs that proves a song can be heavy without actually being heavy in part through its musical arrangement.  It does have its heavy moments in its chorus sections.  The verses, though, are noticeably reserved and contemplative.  The gentle use of the chord progressions and the subtle bass line go a long way toward making those verses so impacting.  That is especially important to note since the song’s lyrical content seems to focus on the familiar topic of a broken relationship.  This theme is inferred as Soriano sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m not feeling any better/Doing this the right way/Try to stay classy/Didn’t make it any better/Just want to get nasty/Get my hands dirty/Leave very little question how I feel/No need to get wordy, no/You cat the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/The lie between the truth/You’re so close to reveal/So you do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.”  It’s at this point that the song’s energy picks up and gets a little more aggressive.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “both of my hands are tied/And my brain is fried/I’m thinking of a way I could just get even with you/I know it’s not politically correct/For me to want to snap your neck/But there’s not other way to hide/When my hands are tied/You act the way you do/So I feel the way I feel/And do the things you do/So I feel the way I feel.”  The deep emotion continues through the rest of the song from here, driving home the subject’s feelings even more, both musically and lyrically.  It’s honestly an approach that the band has rarely if ever taken on any of its previous albums, and is done quite well in this case.  Keeping that in mind, it stands out that much more.  In turn, it makes X stand out in whole even more.  Even with this in mind, it still isn’t the last of the songs that stands out or that makes the album stand out.  ‘Wheel Against Will,’ another later entry in the album’s run, proves just as much to be a standout offering that also proves the album’s strength.

‘Wheel Against Will’ starts out with a steady driving beat from drummer Robb Rivera before it launches into a full on guitar assault while Soriano sings, “No uphill battles/Only wars/Come on the shore/Dropping literary soldiers/Old enough to hold the line/And we’re defining with the revolution on my shoulders…spokes on the wheel that’s turning/Girl against boy/Boy against girl/Will against man/Man against will…the wheel controlling this machine is about to be broken.”  He goes on to speak metaphorically of the ground being made of the “dreams of the weak, the poor, the feeble and the meek, powerless, helpless, the homeless on the street.”  There is also mention here of what would seem to be perhaps the powers that be, creating the streets from those noted individuals.  Keeping that in mind, one is led to assume that this song is perhaps a commentary on the powers that be and their impact on the people through the “machine” that they have created.  That could be entirely outside of the song’s message, but hopefully is somewhere in that range.  Regardless, it goes without saying that this song’s lyrical message is powerful.  When it is joined with its musical accompaniment, the whole proves to be a hard-hitting work that stands solid on its own merits.  What’s more, that also serves to help show even more the strength of X in whole.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here through their musical and lyrical content, all three songs go a long way toward exhibiting Nonpoint’s positive growth in this record.  When they are considered along with the three singles already released and the remaining four songs, the album in whole proves to be another strong effort from Nonpoint that is some of the band’s best work to date.

Nonpoint’s new, tenth full-length recording X is a strong new effort that any of the band’s fans will appreciate.  That has already been proven through the trio of singles that have already been released from the record.  The three songs discussed here do just as much to support that statement as those singles thanks to their powerful musical arrangements and their equally engaging lyrical themes. When they are all considered along with the remaining four tracks not directly noted here, the end result proves to be a record that every one of Nonpoint’s fans will appreciate and enjoy.  That is because they prove the record in whole to be among the band’s best albums to date.  Speaking of dates, the band has already announced a lengthy schedule of live dates in support of X that launches next month, too.  More information on that tour, the band’s new album and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

 

 

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.

Nonpoint Debuts New Single, ‘Fix This’

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Nonpoint is giving audiences yet another preview of its forthcoming album.

The band debuted the new single ‘Fix This’ from its new album on Thursday via Loudwire.  The song is now the third single to be released from the album, which is currently scheduled to be released Aug. 24 via Spinefarm Records.  It was preceded by the release of the singles ‘Chaos & Earthquakes’ and ‘Dodge Your Destiny.’

Audiences will get to hear all three songs and more from X on Nonpoint’s upcoming tour in support of the album, which is scheduled to launch Aug. 21 in Lexington, Kentucky.  The nearly month-long tour is scheduled to run through Sept. 19 in Nashville, TN and to include performances in Jacksonville, NC; Athens, GA; Syracuse, NY and a number of other cities along the East Coast.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

NONPOINT
With He Is Legend + Letters From the Fire:

8/21: Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
8/23: Ft. Myers, FL @ The Ranch
8/24: Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
8/25: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
8/26: Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
8/28: Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
8/29: Greenville, SC @ The Firmament
8/31: Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligans
9/2: Lynchburg, VA @ Blue Ridge Rock Fest
9/6: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
9/7: Hartford, CT @ The Webster
9/8: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
9/11: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
9/14: Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
9/15: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
9/16: Easton, PA @ One Center Square
9/19: Nashville, TN @ The Cowan

More information on Nonpoint’s new single, its new album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

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.

Nonpoint Announces New Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Veteran hard rock band Nonpoint has announced a new tour schedule.

The tour, which is in support of the band’s forthcoming album X — because it will be the band’s 10th full-length studio recording — is scheduled to launch August 21 in Lexington, Kentucky and to run through September 19 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Along with the noted opening and closing dates, the tour schedule also includes scheduled dates in Jacksonville, North Carolina; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; hartford, Connecticut and other cities.  The band’s label mates in He Is Legend will serve as support on the tour.  Its schedule is in support of its most recent album, 2017’s Few.

Nonpoint recently debuted two songs from X in anticipation of the album’s release.  Both songs — ‘Chaos & Earthquakes‘ and ‘Dodge Your Destiny‘ — are streaming now, as is He Is Legend’s latest single ‘Sand.’ Pre-orders for X are open now.

The bands’ tour schedule is noted below.

NONPOINT
With He Is Legend + Letters From the Fire:

8/21: Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
8/23: Ft. Myers, FL @ The Ranch
8/24: Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
8/25: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
8/26: Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
8/28: Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
8/29: Greenville, SC @ The Firmament
8/31: Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligans
9/2: Lynchburg, VA @ Blue Ridge Rock Fest
9/6: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
9/7: Hartford, CT @ The Webster
9/8: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
9/11: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
9/14: Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
9/15: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
9/16: Easton, PA @ One Center Square
9/19: Nashville, TN @ The Cowan

More information on Nonpoint’s new tour dates, videos, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

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.

Nonpoint Announces New Album Release Date; Debuts Two New Songs

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Nonoint returns this summer with its latest album, and in anticipation of its release, the veteran hard rock act has debuted not one, but two of the album’s singles.

The band debuted ‘Chaos and Earthquakes‘ and ‘Dodge Your Destiny‘ on Friday. The second of the singles came complete with lyric video.  The songs are taken from the band’s aptly-titled tenth album X, which is due out August 24 via Spinefarm Records.  Pre-orders are open now.

Front man Elias Soriano said in a recent interview that expectations are high for X.

Ten — I can already tell, is going to become a flagship record for us,” Soriano said.  “Watching people’s reactions when we play them the new music tells me that we have created something that is going to move crowds and may even redefine us.  It’s the year of the X.”

The full track listing for X is noted below.

X TRACK LISTING:
“Empty Batteries”
“Chaos and Earthquakes”
“Fix This”
“Crashing”
“Passive Aggressive”
“Dodge Your Destiny”
“Wheel Against Will”
“Milestone”
“Feel The Way I Feel”
“Position One”

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

 

Website: http://www.nonpoint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonpoint

 

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.

Amon Amarth Conquers Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The hard rock and metal community have collectively become a rather crowded field this year in terms of new albums.  It has made extremely difficult naming the year’s top new hard rock and metal records.  There have been that many outstanding records.  Metallica’s first album in eight years, HardwiredTo SelfDestruct is just one of the albums that has more than proven deserving of being on that list.  The same can be said of Amon Amarth’s latest offering, Jomsviking.  It is a rarity for the band, being a concept record.  The concept behind the record more than works.  And its musical arrangements work just as well.  On another note Prong, with its latest offering X No Absolutes has proven through its overall content (and sales) that it is another success for the band—and more specifically founder Tommy Victor, the band’s only original member.  So no doubt it belongs on the list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, too as do so many others.  It was not easy for this critic to assemble this year’s list of new hard rock and metal albums considering how many outstanding albums were released in that collective field.  But a decision had to be made.  That decision is presented below.

As a reminder, the list, as with each of Phil’s Picks year-ender lists, presents Phil’s Picks Top 10 picks for the year’s best plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Honorable mention is not mean in a negative fashion by any means.  They were each deserving of being named to the year’s best.  It was just that tough assembling a list of the year’s best, so the final list ended as presented here.  Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

 

  1. Amon AmarthJomsviking

 

  1. MetallicaHardwiredTo SelfDestruct

 

  1. All Hail The YetiScreams From A Black Wilderness

 

  1. NonpointThe Poison Red

 

  1. SpellcasterNight Hides The World

 

  1. WovenwarHonor is Dead

 

  1. ArtilleryPunishment By Perception

 

  1. ProngXNo Absolutes

 

  1. AnthraxFor All Kings

 

  1. DestrageA Means To No End

 

  1. WhitechapelMark of the Blade

 

  1. DevildriverTrust No One

 

  1. Oni – Ironshore

 

  1. Primal FearRulebreaker

 

  1. HatebreedThe Concrete Confesional

 

 

 

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.