Machine Head Unveils New Three-Song Single, ‘Arrows In Words From The Sky’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran metal outfit Machine Head kicked off the weekend by releasing three new songs.

The band premiered its new three-song single, ‘Arrows in Words From The Sky‘ Friday. The single features the songs ‘Become The Firestorm,’ ‘Rotten,’ and ‘Arrows in Words From The Sky.’

Front man Robb Flynn talked about the songs in a prepared statement.

“The lyrics to these songs took to me places inside I didn’t want to go, from the bile and negativity on “Rotten,” to nothing-will-beat-me-down fury of “Become The Firestorm,” to the title track “Arrows” being one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written, yet somehow has the power to lift me up out of what was a very dark time in my life,” he said. “My hope is that by sharing these dark experiences with the Head Cases of the world, it can save someone else out of that same dark place.”

The exclusive digital-only release opens with a song whose guitar riffs exhibit a full-on thrash/death style approach and sound. The ferocity in the guitars and precision in the time keeping, bass, and vocals partners well with the uplifting lyrical theme about overcoming life’s obstacles and adversity.

‘Rotten’ meanwhile boasts a sound that will appeal to Machine Head’s longtime fans. The riffs, vocals, bass, and drums immediately lend themselves to works from the band’s debut album, Burn My Eyes, which the band released more than 25 years ago. The arrangement partners just as well with the anger and frustration presented through the song’s lyrical theme. The thoughts and emotions that front man Robb Flynn presents here will resonate with a wide range of audiences. The pairing of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes the song stand out even more.

‘Arrows in Words From The Sky,’ with is deeply contemplative and introspective content (which ultimately proves uplifting in its own right) makes for its own accessibility. The heaviness here is a blend of sludge, doom, and 80s hair metal riffage along with some heavy bass and drums. Flynn’s own vocal delivery is powerful in its own right here, especially in the presentation of the layered screams.

‘Arrows in Words From The Sky’ features Machine Head’s first new music since the release of its then latest single, ‘My Hands Are Empty‘ and its video in November.

More information on Machine Head’s new music is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.machinehead1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MachineHead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MfnH

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.

Soulfly Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Soulfly is headed back on the road.

The made the announcement Thursday through a news release distributed to the media. The tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 20 in Albuquerque, NM and to run through Sept. 24 in Los Angeles, CA. It features performances in cities, such as Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN and Dallas, TX.

Front man and founder Max Cavalera said in a prepared statement, he and his band mates are looking forward to get back in front of audiences.

“Hello SoulflyTribe! We are finally heading back on the road in the US,” he said. “After being isolated by the pandemic we are ready to let it all out in the mosh pit with the Tribe! All the anger, frustration, and passion will come out of all of us with a killer new setlist and probably a new song from our 12th studio album! So let’s get ready to pit and destroy this fucking place. As always, fuck shit up and bring the shot. We cannot wait.”

Niviane and Suicide Puppets will share time as support throughout the tour. Tickets for most of the shows are on sale. Tickets for the Denver and New York shows go on sale at noon ET today.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Confirmed dates for the SOULFLY‘s US Tour are:

8/20/2021  Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM **
8/21/2021  Marquis Theater – Denver, CO **
8/22/2021  Sunshine Studios – Colorado Springs, CO **
8/24/2021  Wave Outdoors – Wichita, KS **
8/25/2021  The Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS **
8/26/2021  Red Flag – St. Louis, MO **
8/27/2021  Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN **
8/28/2021  Metal In The Mountains @ Pipestem Event Center – Pipestem, WV **
8/29/2021  Skully’s – Columbus, OH **
8/30/2021  Rec Room – Buffalo, NY **
8/31/2021  Crafthouse – Pittsburgh, PA **
9/01/2021  Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY **
9/02/2021  Alchemy – Providence, RI **
9/03/2021  Alchemy – Providence, RI **
9/04/2021  The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY ^
9/05/2021  Diesel Concert Lounge – Chesterfield, MI ^
9/06/2021  WC Social Club – West Chicago, IL ^
9/07/2021  Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN ^
9/08/2021  Diamond Pub Concert Hall – Louisville, KY ^
9/09/2021  Zydeco – Birmingham, AL ^
9/11/2021  Warlando Festival – Orlando, FL *
9/12/2021  The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA ^
9/14/2021  Scout Bar – Houston, TX ^
9/15/2021  Come and Take It Live – Austin, TX ^
9/16/2021  Trees – Dallas, TX ^
9/17/2021  Country River Club – Tyler, TX ^
9/18/2021  Vibes Event Center – San Antonio, TX ^
9/19/2021  Rockhouse Bar & Grill – El Paso, TX^
9/21/2021  Encore – Tucson, AZ *
9/22/2021  Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA *
9/23/2021  Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA *
9/24/2021 The Whisky – Los Angeles, CA  *
* = No Support
** – 8/20 – 9/3 – NIVIANE
^ – 9/4 – 9/19 – SUICIDE PUPPETS

Cavalera announced in January that the band had returned to the studio to work on its next album. He had the following to say of the work on the band’s new album:

“I’ve been working on this record with my son, Zyon, since June of last year,” he said. “We are in the studio now with producer Arthur Rizk, creating a really wild record. Expect the unexpected! No rules, no limits, not holding anything back, just pure SOULFLY!”

More information on Soulfly’s next record is available along with all of Soulfly’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.soulfly.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SoulflyOfficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheSoulflyTribe

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.

Sabaton Premieres Album-Length Presentation Of Its Album, ‘The Art Of War’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton unveiled a special presentation for its audiences over the weekend.

The band premiered the full presentation of its 2008 album The Art of War online complete with lyric videos for each of its songs. The band offered the following prepared statement about the new presentation:

 “We released our album “The Art of War” on May 30, 2008,” the statement reads. “Now, you will be able to experience the album just as it was meant to be heard, from start to end.  These days, most people listen to a few songs only, and miss a lot of good ones.  We now challenge you to break the norm and take the time to enjoy this album.  And perhaps you will learn something new.”

Sabaton’s new presentation comes less than a month after the band premiered its latest single, a cover ofRadio Tapok’s song, ‘Defence of Moscow‘ and its video. That song focused on the Battle of Moscow, which was one of the key battles between Russian and Nazi forces during World War II.

The premiere of Sabaton’s video for its cover of ‘Defence of Moscow’ came less than a month after the band premiered the English language version of its song, ‘The Royal Guard‘ and its video.

More information on Sabaton’s full-length presentation of The Art of War is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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.

Sabaton Debuts Video For Its Cover Of ‘Defence of Moscow’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its cover of Radio Tapok’s song, ‘Defence of Moscow‘ Monday. The video features the band performing its cover of the song as a re-enactment of The Battle of Moscow plays out.

The Battle of Moscow took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Nazi forces were held back by the Russians in the three-month-long battle. As a result of the battle, then supreme commander of the German Army, Walther von Brauchitsch was removed from his post, with Hitler taking his place as the German army’s head officer.

Bassist Par Sundstrom talked about the decision to take on the song in a prepared statement.

“May 9 is celebrated as V-Day in Russia, the day to commemorate the victory over the Nazis in WW2,” he said. “This year, we participate in the memory of this event by releasing a song dedicated to the brave men who fought in the Battle of Moscow.  This track was originally written in Russian by our friend Radio Tapok.  It’s a very strong song and we thought it made sense that Sabaton should give it a try to make an honorable cover of this song.”

Sabaton’s cover of ‘Defence of Moscow’ features an arrangement that will appeal to the band’s established audience base. That is because the arrangement is another infectious, power metal composition, but is still original in its presentation. It even features the Russian national anthem as part of its whole.

The song will be available to stream and download across all digital platforms beginning July 9.

The premiere of Sabaton’s video for its cover of ‘Defence of Moscow’ comes less than a month after the band premiered the English language version of its song, ‘The Royal Guard‘ and its video.

The new video that accompanies the English-language version of ‘Royal Guard’ continues the story started in the video for the band’s Swedish-version of the song. After enjoying a rich meal at a castle, the band, dressed as the Royal Guard, kneels before the throne of King Vasa before fighting off a horde of enemies– supposedly Turks or some other seemingly Middle Eastern group.

More information on Sabaton’s cover of ‘Defence of Moscow’ and its video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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.Advertisementsabout:blankREPORT THIS AD

Sabaton Debuts English-Language Version Of ‘The Royal Guard,’ New Companion Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton unveiled the English version of its latest single over the weekend.

The band unveiled the English-language version of its song, ‘The Royal Guard‘ Friday. A new video accompanied the song to enhance the presentation. The English translated version came more than a month after the band released the Swedish-language version, which was dubbed ‘Livgardet,’ and its video.

Bassist Par Sundstrom, who also serves as the band’s manager, talked about the song during a recent interview.

“Our new song, ‘The Royal Guard,’ is about the great story of one of the oldest military regiments in the world, formed in the area where Sabaton hail from,” he said. “We are aware that we cannot make the Swedish Empire MKII happen even if we wanted.  We had our chance some 300 years ago… But it was amazing to write about Swedish history again after nearly ten years since we wrote Carolus Rex.

“Since 2012 and Carolus Rex, we have been looking forward to writing more songs in Swedish, and we felt that we were not done with the history of our fatherland,” he added. “Over the past years we have been discussing around topics until something obvious came up: One of the oldest military regiments in the world, the Swiss Royal Guard (Livgardet),was formed in the Sabaton home region in Sweden, Dalecarlia, in 1521 by the legendary Swedish King Gustav Vasa. For the past 500 years, they have evolved with the times and served under various kings and queens around the world and are still active today. We felt that such an anniversary would be worth a song, and we aimed at writing a respectful tribute, an anthem for this Swedish regiment and its legacy. The rich 500 years of history is, needless to say, extremely hard to fit into one song, and that is why we mainly focused on the parts and battles that happened during the age of the Swedish Empire. We aimed to write a respectful tribute, a powerful anthem, for this Swedish regiment and its remarkable legacy.”

The musical arrangement featured in Sabaton’s new single is everything that audiences have come to expect from Sabaton. The power metal approach is there once again but the overall arrangement is its own unique presentation.

The new video that accompanies the English-language version of ‘Royal Guard’ continues the story started in the video for the band’s Swedish-version of the song. After enjoying a rich meal at a castle, the band, dressed as the Royal Guard, kneels before the throne of King Vasa before fighting off a horde of enemies– supposedly Turks or some other seemingly Middle Eastern group.

More information on Sabaton’s new English-language version of ‘The Royal Guard’ is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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.

Ministry Announces Rescheduled Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH TOUR

RESCHEDULED TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021

*indicates a new date not included on the original run

**indicates a venue change from the original run

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

October 2021

 3   Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

 4   Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre

 6   Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

 8   Buffalo, NY @ Buffalo Riverworks**

 9   Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre

10  Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre

11  Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre

14  Boston, MA @ House of Blues

15  Huntington, NY @ The Paramount

16  Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre

17  Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall

19  Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle

20  Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore*

21  Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live

23  Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!***

24  Houston, TX @ House of Blues

25  San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater

28  Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren

29  Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues

30  San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

31  San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre

November 2021

2   Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

3   Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo

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

Websitehttps://www.ministryband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WeAreMinistry

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

Derek Sherinian Starts Work On His Next Album

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian is keeping himself busy as 2021 rolls on.

Sherinian announced Tuesday, he has started work on his next solo record. He announced through a press release that he is once again working with drummer Simon Phillips on the record and hopes to have the new album out in 2022. That would put the album’s release approximately two years after his 2019 album, The Phoenix.

The Phoenix produced the singles, ‘Empyrean Sky,’ ‘Dragonfly,’ and ‘Them Changes‘ (a cover of the Buddy Miles classic).

Sherinian followed up the release of The Phoenix with a guest appearance on Michael Schenker Group’s latest album, Immortal, which was released early this year. Now the band’s namesake, Michael Schenker will make his own appearance on Sherinian’s as-yet-untitled new album.

Sherinian talked about Schenker’s appearance on the record.

“To be working with Michael Schenker and Simon brings me back to 1980 when I was 13 listening to the first MSG record,” he said

Schenker added to the discussion.

“Derek and myself trading solos, it sounds unexpected and beyond my expectation, absolutely fantastic,” said Schenker.

Schenker is just one of the musicians expected to guest on Sherinian’s next record. More information on other participants will be announced soon.

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

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.

Sabaton Honors Swedish Royal Guard With New Single,Video; Launches Pre-orders, Pre-Saves For Next Single

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton debuted its latest single this week, along with the song’s companion video.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Livgardet‘ Friday, along with the song’s companion video. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming, as-yet untitled album. The video’s debut less than a month after the band announced it has renewed its contract with Nuclear Blast Records.

Bassist Par Sundstrom, who also serves as the band’s manager, talked about the song in a prepared statement at the time.

Since 2012 and Carolus Rex, we have been looking forward to writing more songs in Swedish, and we felt that we were not done with the history of our fatherland,” he said. Over the past years we have been discussing around topics until something obvious came up, One of the oldest military regiments in the world, the Swiss Royal Guard (Livgardet),was formed in the Sabaton home region in Sweden, Dalecarlia, in 1521 by the legendary Swedish king Gustav Vasa. For the past 500 years, they have evolved with the times and served under various kings and queens around the world and are still active today. We felt that such an anniversary would be worth a song, and we aimed at writing a respectful tribute, an anthem for this Swedish regiment and its legacy. The rich 500 years of history is, needless to say, extremely hard to fit into one song, and that is why we mainly focused on the parts and battles that happened during the age of the Swedish Empire. We aimed to write a respectful tribute, a powerful anthem, for this Swedish regiment and its remarkable legacy.”

Sabaton’s new single is sung in its native Swedish tongue. Lyrics are posted with the video for translation into English. Translated, the lyrics tell the story of the Swiss Royal Guard.

The musical arrangement featured in Sabaton’s new single is everything that audiences have come to expect from Sabaton. The power metal approach is there once again but the overall arrangement is its own unique presentation.

The song’s video features Sabaton’s band members dressed as members of the Swiss Royal Guard, enjoying quite the fine feast as they plan a military campaign. The band’s established audience base will enjoy this, considering that the band has made a career of crafting songs and albums about various military conflicts throughout the world’s history.

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

In related news, Sabaton has launched pre-orders and pre-saves for its next single, ‘The Royal Guard.’

More information on Sabaton’s contract renewal, its new single, and its forthcoming single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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.

Michael Schenker Group Debuts Discussion Video For ‘In Search Of The Peace Of Mind’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker Group premiered a new video this week featuring Michael Schenker discussing one of his new album’s songs.

The label debuted a video Thursday featuring Schenker discussing the song ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind.’ The video is the sixth in a series of videos that the band has premiered featuring discussions on songs from MSG’s latest album Immortal. Other topics addressed are: Recording Schenker’s albums; MSG’s logo; Recording ‘After The Rain‘ (discussed by the album’s producer Michael Voss); Schenker’s 50th anniversary as a professional musician, and recording Immortal (again, a discussion by Voss).

‘In Search of the Peace of Mind’ is the fourth single from Immortal. The record has also produced the singles, ‘Sail The Darkness,’ ‘Drilled to Kill,’ and ‘After the Rain.’

In related news, Immortal officially entered the world music charts last week. The 10-song record, which was officially released Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records, reached #14 on the U.S. Rock chart, #3 on the nation’s Hard Rock chart and #43 on the Top Current Chart.  The band’s 11th album, it has proven just as successful, reaching #3 in Japan, and #8 in Germany, Sweden, and Switerland.  Its results in other parts of the world have put it in Top 25 spots and so forth.

In other related news, Michael Schenker Group has announced a new live schedule in support of the album and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his career in music. Doro is scheduled to join the band for the first set of dates while the band is scheduled to handle the second half of the run by itself.

The first leg of the tour is scheduled to run from Oct. 28-31 in London and Wolverhampton. The second leg of the tour features dates in Madrid, Spain; Turin, Italy, and the Netherlands. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Michael Schenker 
“50th Anniversary – IMMORTAL” 
performed by the current MSG/Michael Schenker Group
 
with special guest DORO
28.10.2021 UK – Leeds, OAcademy                            
29.10.2021 UK – Newcastle, OCity Hall                             
30.10.2021 UK – Wolverhampton, KK Steel Mill                           
31.10.2021 UK – London, OShepherd’s Bush Empire   
 
Tickets: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/michael-schenker-tickets/artist/890401
 
Michael Schenker
“50th Anniversary – IMMORTAL”
performed by the current MSG/Michael Schenker Group


02.11.2021 NL – Zoetermeer, De Boerderij
03.11.2021 CH – Pratteln, Z7
04.11.2021 IT  – Turin, Audiodrome
05.11.2021 ES – Barcelona, Razzmatazz 1
06.11.2021 ES – Madrid, La Riviera

Tickets: https://www.dragon-productions.eu/bands/michael-schenker/

Immortal is available now as a standard CD and a limited edition expanded edition complete with the Michael Schenker Fest live recording Bang Your Head.  Schenker said of the recording, which was recorded two years ago in Balingen/Germany, “Unfixed, raw, pure and great! There’s a couple of small mistakes, but because the show and recording went so well, I decided to keep it the way it went on the night. It’s live, magic and pure.“

More information on Immortal is available now along with all of Michael Schenker Fest’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Immortal’ Reminds Listeners Why Michael Schenker’s Influence, Popularity Are Themselves Immortal

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker’s latest Michael Schenker Group record Immortal officially entered the world music charts this week, and the numbers are promising.  The 10-song record, which was officially released Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records, reached #14 on the U.S. Rock chart, #3 on the nation’s Hard Rock chart and #43 on the Top Current Chart.  The band’s 11th album, it has proven just as successful, reaching #3 in Japan, and #8 in Germany, Sweden, and Switerland.  Its results in other parts of the world have put it in Top 25 spots and so forth.  The album’s largely successful first week numbers should be no surprise, considering that Schenker has a record of succeeding in everything he does.  This record is no exception to that rule.  That is evidenced in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements builds on the foundation formed by that musical element.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation.  It brings everything together, completing the album’s presentation.  When it is addressed along with the record’s content, the whole of the elements makes the album in whole a presentation that rock and hard rock purists alike will enjoy just as much as Schenker’s established fan base.

Michael Schenker Group’s latest album – its 11th – is another successful offering from the group, which is just one of Schenker’s many projects.  It is a presentation whose appeal is far reaching.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements that fill out each of the album’s 10 total songs, give audiences elements of the rock sounds of days gone by alongside today’s pure guitar rock work.  ‘Drilled to Kill,’ which opens the album, is a prime example of that balance.  There is a clear Motorhead influence aligned here with Schenker’s own hard rock/power metal influences.  The powerhouse, operatic vocals of Primal Fear front man Ralf Scheepers add even more to that classic metal sensibility.  On yet another level, the use of the keyboards here lends itself to comparisons to works from Derek Sherinian, adding even more of that modern rock (and even prog) feel.  Simply put, the whole of the arrangement blends the noted elements of rock and hard rock’s past and present for a whole that hits hard.  It makes for a strong start for the album and an equally strong example of how much the album’s musical arrangements have to offer audiences.

Another of the entries that highlights the importance album’s musical content to its overall presentation is ‘Sail The Darkness.’  Rainbow front man Ronnie Romero’s vocal delivery joins with the work of Schenker and company to take listeners back to the age of big riffs and even bigger hair.  The use of the keyboards and the rich sound of the drums conjures thoughts of vintage Van Halen and Iron Maiden.  While the noted influences are clearly there, the arrangement in whole still features its own identity.  The result is that it presents a sound that will appeal easily to the noted audiences just as much as the arrangement featured in ‘Drilled to Kill’ and any of the album’s other works. 

As if ‘Drilled to Kill’ and ‘Sail the Darkness’ are not enough proof of the importance of the musical arrangements featured in Immortal, the arrangement featured in ‘In Search of The Peace of Mind’ takes listeners in yet another direction. The sound and stylistic approach taken in its opening bars are akin to works from the likes of Joe Satriani.  That approach soon gives way however, to more of a power ballad approach that itself then gives way to a sort of heavy, plodding Judas Priest style work.  The short and simple here is that what audiences get in this song is essentially a three-movement opus that lifts from influences within a wide range of eras.  The Judas Priest style work sounds like works that the band crafted way back in the 1970s while the Satriani-esque portion could have been just as easily from his 80s and  90s work as from his more modern works.  The other portion is clearly influenced from 80s greats, such as Dokken.  The whole of those influences makes the song in whole yet another interesting work that will reach a wide range of listeners.   When its appeal and variance in sound from that of the other works noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album’s musical  content leaves no doubt as to the importance of this record’s musical content. That overall content makes the album well worth hearing in itself.  It is just one aspect of what makes the album successful, too.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements makes the album even more engaging and entertaining.

The lyrical content that accompanies Immortal’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal because it is just as accessible as the record’s musical content.  From beginning to end, the record’s lyrical content presents themes and topics that any listener will find familiar.  No less than three of the album’s songs are lyrical works about women.  The come in the form of ‘Devil’s Daughter,’ ‘The Queen of Thorns and Roses,’ and ‘After The Rain.’  Each focuses on a different matter therein.  ‘Devil’s Daughter’ is a simple work about a woman who just drives men wild with her feminine wiles.  ‘After The Rain’ seems to focus on a man lamenting woman who has left him.  ‘The Queen of Thorns and Roses’ meanwhile comes across as being about a woman who isn’t quite what she seems.  These themes are familiar for so many rock and hard rock songs.  On another note, a song, such as ‘Sail The Darkness’ comes across as being a work that lyrically, is about making one’s way through life’s more difficult moment.  This is also a familiar topic, and just as welcome here as in any other act’s songs. 

On yet another note, ‘Drilled To Kill’ seems to broach the matter of how people are essentially institutionalized in so many ways.  From religion – the line notes, “Religion is the order/Stick right to the rules/Sail on sailor, anywhere/On this ship of fools/We are on a mission/Questions won’t be posed/Load your gun/We’re gettin’ there/Battlefield is close.” – to the very process of making young men ready for  battle  —  “Mute all emotions/Looking for the thrill/So close to overdosing/We’ve been drilled to kill/Who cares for the enemy?/Already on the hill/Say a prayer/A last will/’Cause we’ve been  drilled to kill/They say you are wanted/A wanted man/Come and sign the paper/Let me count you in/Well,  it looks like a holiday/But we protect the Earth/Sailing distant oceans/It’s all worth.” – the protest here certainly comes across clearly.  To that end, it is yet another accessible song and proves even more how that accessibility plays into the importance of the album’s overall lyrical content.  When it, the other noted lyrical themes here and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes are considered together, they leave no doubt as to the overall importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It is just as accessible as the album’s musical content.  Keeping that in mind, the content in whole does more than its share to make the album successful.  The overall content is just one way in which the   album shows its viability, too.  The production of that content brings everything together and completes the record’s picture.

The production that went into the creation of Immortal is critical to its presentation because of its impact on the presentation of the content.  Thanks to the solid production, no one aspect of the songs’ instrumentation overpowers the others.  At the same time, the vocals never get washed out.  This is especially important because washing out vocals can easily lead to either simple misinterpretation of lyrics or even a full inability to comprehend them without a lyrics sheet.  That applies in so many genres of the musical universe.  Sadly, so few acts take this into account when their records are produced.  On another level, there is a lot going on in each song.  Between the guitars, the vocals, the drums and other elements, the songs have quite a bit happening.  That means a lot of attention had to be paid to every aspect of each song.  Even in the softer, more reserved moments, the simplicity in those works had a lot to focus on in order to fully emotionally impact listeners.  The production succeeds even in those cases.  Simply put, the time and painstaking efforts that were clearly put into the album’s production paid off.  Those efforts made the album sound as good as it appears through its content.  It completes the musical picture painted here and makes the album a presentation that is fully deserving of its own spot on this year’s list of the best new hard rock and metal albums.

Michael Schenker Group’s new album Immortal is a presentation that succeeds just as much as Schenker’s most recent Michael Schenker Fest albums – Revelation and Resurrection.  This latest offering from Michael Schenker Group — its 11th – succeeds in part due to its musical arrangements.  The album’s arrangements will appeal to any rock and hard rock purist as well as any longtime fan of Michael Schenker.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content is just as accessible as the album’s musical arrangements.  The record’s production brings everything together and puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Immortal a record that reminds audiences of the immortality of Michael Schenker’s popularity and influence.  Immortal is available now.

More information on Immortal is available now along with all of Michael Schenker Fest’s latest news and more at:

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