BPMD’s ‘American Made’ Covers Collection Is Entertaining, But Hardly Memorable

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Covers collections are among the most peculiar releases that musical acts of any genre can release during their careers.  Unlike singles compilations, which in their own way, actually serve a purpose – that purpose being that they could lead new audiences to pick up an act’s albums in whole – covers compilations serve little if any purpose.  They are just collections of songs that acts put together to “pay tribute” to other acts and make money in the process.  They are really just space fillers that acts use in order to satisfy contractual obligations for album release numbers.  Keeping that in mind, one can’t help but wonder why respected and talented musicians, such as Bobby Blitz (Overkill), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, Sons of Apollo, Liquid Tension Experiment, etc.), Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence) and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) would come together just to create a compilation of cover songs for what is right now its first and only release.  The 10-song compilation, titled American Made, is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  It does delve into music from some notable bands who have come before this hard rock supergroup dubbed BPMD.  That dichotomy of the bands whose music is covered versus the band performing said songs does make for at least some interest at best.  This item will be addressed a little later.  The specific arrangements of said songs is certain to be its own discussion point.  They will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of this compilation.  All things considered, American Made proves itself to be a record that while worth hearing at least once, is sadly anything but memorable.

Hard rock super group BPMD’s debut recording American Made is a recording that is worth hearing at least once, but sadly not much more than that.  One of the record’s only saving graces is the contrast of the bands whose works are covered to the band performing said covers.  The bands whose works are covered throughout this roughly 37-minute collection include, but are not limited to Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and Grand Funk Railroad.  Even Mountain gets its own recognition here.  Simply put, the bands whose works are covered here are in a realm that is completely opposite of the bands from which BPMD’s members have come.  Blitz is front man of the veteran thrash metal outfit Overkill.  Portnoy spent the majority of his professional career keeping time for the famed prog-metal outfit Dream Theater.  Even the other projects in which he has taken part have been in genres directly opposite of that of the covered bands.  Much the same can be said of Demmel and Menghi.  Considering the contrast of the resumes of BPMD’s members and the bands that they cover here, that in itself is worth at least engagement for audiences.  It shows that the band was willing to go out on a limb and do something different than what they normally do in their dayjobs.  One could also argue that maybe it is a display of the acts that influenced the band’s members.  If that’s that case, then the group has definitely gone far from those influences over the years, again making for its own share of discussion for listeners.  To that end, that contrast of the band’s collective background and the bands that this group covered does at best a little bit for the collection.  Directly tied to those discussions is the discussion on the collection’s one unavoidable negative, the very fact that it is a covers collection.

It has already been noted here that the members of BPMD have decidedly outstanding resumes.  So to that end, it is just baffling that considering the band members’ pedigrees, the group’s first impression of sorts would be a collection of songs that have been covered time and again by so many other acts.  These men are elite figures within the hard rock and metal communities.  It made audiences hope for something original right out of the gate so to speak.  Instead, the group opted to essentially phone it in and put out a covers compilation.  Had the group gone that route of releasing a debut loaded with original content first and then this record later, it would have made the compilation easier to accept. What’s more, unlike the case of Fozzy, which also started off with a collection of covers so long ago, it has to be assumed that BPMD is just a one-off project for its members.  At least in the case of a band, such as Fozzy, it was known that said band’s debut was just the beginning for that act.  This knowledge detracts from the draw of American Made.  It essentially makes the compilation come across as little more than a cash grab for the band and nothing more.  Keeping that in mind, this unavoidable aspect of American Made makes it difficult to call this record memorable.  While this aspect cannot be ignored, it does not make the album a complete failure for the group.  BPMD’s take on the record’s songs makes for its own share of engagement.

One of the most interesting updates that the band features in American Made is that of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Saturday Night Special.’  BPMD’s update does largely stay true to its source material by and large.  The amped up re-imagining also gives the song a new identity and feel, needless to say.  It gives the song more of a 1980s hair metal type of sense.  Whether fans love or hate this one will be left to them, but it is definitely an interesting take, needless to say.  BPMD’s update of Aerosmith’s ‘Toys in the Attic’ is another key addition to the collection.  As with the band’s cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Saturday Night Special,’ this cover also stays largely true to its source material.  It just once again gives the cover an amped up remake.  The song even goes so far as to include Joe Perry’s guitar solo from the original work.  It’s just weird hearing Bobby Blitz’s gritty vocals and the full-on hard rock re-imagining here.  That aside, this update actually works almost as well as the original.  BPMD’s cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘American Band’ is another important addition to this compilation.  The band’s take once more does strive to stay true to its source material, and it is certain in its own right to create a lot of discussion among listeners.  That’s because while it does stay true to the source material, it seems to have trouble balancing its attempt to echo the song’s classic rock sound and the band members’ own hard rock and metal leanings.  It is definitely going to have listeners talking.  That is not to say that the song is a total loss or that any of the compilation’s works are losses.  The songs will certainly leave listeners talking, though.  Between the discussions insured through the musical updates and the very lineup of featured bands, which could actually lead some listeners to embark on musical journeys into catalogs of bands to which they otherwise might not have listened, the compilation proves itself worth hearing at least once.  To that end, the compilation is not a total failure.  However, one cannot ignore the fact that considering the resume of each of BPMD’s members, this just seems like little more than a cash grab.  To that end American Made makes itself worth hearing at least once, but anything but an American classic itself

BPMD’s covers collection American Made is a headscratcher of a record.  The first release from the hard rock super group, it will potentially lead some listeners to take their own journeys into the catalogs of the record’s featured bands.  The songs that are covered here play even more into that potential musical journey of discovery, as the covers will definitely lead to lots of discussion among audiences.  For all of the positives that the record’s featured bands and songs generate, one still cannot ignore the very issue that the band’s members are among the music industry’s elite figures.  To that end, coming together for potentially just one record and making said record a covers collection will leave a somewhat bitter taste in many listeners’ mouths, so to speak.  It leaves one feeling like this was just a rushed, phoned in work that was little more than a cash grab for the band’s members.  Keeping all of this in mind, the record proves itself worth hearing at least once, but sadly not much more than that.  American Made is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  More information on American Made is available along with all of BPMD’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://bpmdmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bpmdofficial

 

 

 

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Warbringer’s Latest LP Brings Lots Of Musical, Lyrical Firepower For Audiences To Enjoy

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Thrash metal outfit Warbringer is an interesting act.  The band has only been in existence for sixteen years.  Yet in that span, the band has toured the globe with some of the metal community’s biggest names (E.g. Overkill, Soilwork, Exodus), and released six albums, all while going through label and numerous lineup changes.  Most bands can only dream to have done as much as Warbringer in that span of time, what with the average number of albums and associated tours run over that time being three.  Even having done so much in such a short time, the band has not lost its fire.  That is clear in the band’s latest album (it’s sixth), Weapons of Tomorrow.  The 10-song record is a presentation that is everything that audiences have come to expect from Warbringer, both musically and lyrically.  The guitar riffs, vocals, bass work and time keeping come together to make this record just as worthy of applause as any of Warbringer’s past records.  That is evidenced in part early in the record’s 50-minute run in the form of ‘Defiance of Fate.’  This song will be addressed shortly.  ‘Heart of Darkness,’ which comes just past the record’s midpoint, serves as another example of the album’s strength.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Glorious End,’ the album’s finale, is one more way in which this album shows its impact.  It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Outer Reaches,’ which focuses on the journey into space, ‘Notre Dame (King of Fools),’ which seems to tell the story of Quasi Modo, and ‘Firepower Kills,’ which really comes across as an indictment of the buildup of the military complex, are also important additions to the album.  When they are considered with the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves itself to be a powerful new offering from Warbringer that the band’s fans will appreciate just as much as metal fans in general.

Twelve years ago, thrash metal outfit Warbringer first came onto the metal scene with its debut album War Without End.  In the decade-plus since that album’s release, the band has continued to impress audiences with each following album.  The band’s latest album, Weapons of Tomorrow – the band’s sixth album and eighth overall recording, counting its two EPs – is no exception to that rule.  That is proven through the album’s lyrical and musical content, as is evidenced early on in the album’s fourth track, ‘Defiance of Faith.’  The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to Metallica’s timeless thrash anthen ‘Sanitarium’ what with its brooding, reserved approach in the work of guitarists Adam Carroll and Chase Becker.  Drummer Carlos Cruz’s work behind the kit adds even more to that comparison with his controlled performance, as does bassist Chase Bryant.  Given, front man John Kevill’s vocal delivery is more akin to something from perhaps Exodus or Overkill, but it still works in its own right, adding its own touch to the whole to make the arrangement its own strong performance.  The subdued nature of the song’s arrangement is important to note because it serves to help illustrate and translate the story presented in the song’s lyrical content, which is about a man trying to decide which path to take in his life, so to speak.

The story of that subject’s decision is told over the course of its seven-minute-plus run time, with the subject first asking himself about his path.  He says to himself in this verse,  “So far away/the night descends o one more day/I call your name/But no reply/Nothing/How to go on/Why wear a smile upon my face/I try to rise in vain/But I can’t defy/I can’t defy my fate.”  He continues his discussion with himself in the song’s second verse, with just as much emotion, “Can’t find a meaning/In a cold, uncaring world/I long for days/Days that once and never were/My hopes begin to fade/For I can’t defy/I can’t defy my fate.”  Eventually the song’s figure reaches an epiphany, realizing his fate is in his own hands.  This comes in the song’s third verse, as the subject states, “But will I lay down as my life passes by?/Or will I raise up my fist to the sky/I will not go silently into the dark/My flame will burn brighter than all of the stars/I will stand tall/I will not go silently/I will be known/My flame will burn bright/So bright/You will know my name/You will hear my voice/My life will have meaning/I have made my choice/Now I stand defiant/I stand in defiance of fate/For all of time/My will and my spirit remain.”  What’s really interesting here is that as the song’s subject gains his emotional and mental footing, so does the energy increase in the song’s arrangement, helping to illustrate the determination and confidence that is rising in the song’s subject.  Keeping all of this in mind, it is clear that a lot of thought was put into the song on both  sides.  Even more important to note here is that while this is just a story, it is a story to which listeners can relate, as it reminds listeners to not give up when they are in those situations in which they are feeling so much doubt.  To that end, the song proves even more important to the whole of Weapons of Tomorrow.  Whether making that connection was manifest from the band is anyone’s guess, but regardless, it is a connection that listeners can relate.  Keeping that in mind, this song is clearly an important addition to the album, and just one of the record’s most notable works.  ‘Heart of Darkness’ is another of the songs featured in Weapons of Tomorrow that makes the record worth hearing.

‘Heart of Darkness’ is notable because it stands out from the rest of the album’s songs just as much musically as it does lyrically.  Where ‘Defiance of Fate’ boasted a very Metallica-esque influence in its arrangement, this song’s arrangement is more of a 21st-century work.  It continues the band’s trend of experimenting with more black metal elements alongside its trademark thrash metal sound.  The two elements are well-balanced here, making the whole a work that is unique within the confines of the album and when compared to works from Warbringer’s thrash counterparts.  That combination makes this arrangement another work that audiences will appreciate just as much as the album’s other entries.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The foreboding sound presented through the song’s arrangement does well to help evoke the feeling in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Heart of Darkness’ seems to reference author Joseph Conrad’s timeless novella written by the same name.  The novella took on the themes of imperialism and racism.  At the same time, while the title of that publication is referenced here, the actual lyrical content seems to address more, the history of mankind on one another.  It can just as easily be likened to the influence of the Spanish on certain other societies, Europeans on native cultures in America (and Africa) and even the British on peoples of other nations.  In other words, it is a theme that connects to reality in so many avenues.  To that end, the two topics ironically intertwine with one another seamlessly.  The song states of that history in its lead verse, “Far into the unknown/They find this land/Yet unspoiled by time/Its people quite defenseless/Its riches ripe for the taking/They brought the torch/They brought the sword/To seek their fame/To seek reward/They venture into the jungles and mists/And blinded, they see/Only an infinite darkness.”  The story continues in its second verse with what seems to reference the atrocities of slavery in America, stating, “The crack of whips/The clack of chains/To bring the light/But why such pain/To rule by force and domination/And then to speak of civilization/The ivory face/The eyes so cold/The lust for power/The glimmer of gold/There lies a sickness deep in the soul/One glance in the mirror/Reveals an infinite darkness.”  In hindsight, the mention of “the lust for power/The glimmer of gold” might in fact make this a reference to the mistreatment of Native Americans by white Americans of European descent.  Either way, the picture of that mistreatment by one group to another is clear and powerful.  The song’s powerful story continues in its third verse, as Kevill “sings,” “Stained human soul/Which no one can disguise/What evil lurks in the recesses of the mind/Would you chain another/If you gained from their demise/To peer into this darkness means to face the horror/The horror within us all/Far/So far into the unknown/The hateful seeds that have been sown/The quest for wealth/That grim desire/The severed hands/The homes afire/Through the years, an unending stain/The crack of whips/The clack of chains/And even today, the echo remains/Witness the still-beating heart/Heart of darkness.”  Again, what is being addressed here is imperialism and racism throughout history from one group’s oppression of another to another group’s oppression of others.  It is a very unique way in which this familiar topic has been approached here.  Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the topic is even more impacting.  In turn, the song becomes another clear example of what makes Weapons of Tomorrow worth hearing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable entries.  The record’s finale, ‘Glorious End’ is one more example of the album’s strength.

‘Glorious End’ stands out because while its musical arrangement does present more of the band’s familiar thrash sound – coupled with more black/death metal influence – the song’s lyrical content presents its own unique tale.  The tale here is that of a young man growing up and going off to war in World War I.  It is a story that will appeal widely to fans not only of Warbringer, but also to fans of Sabaton.  At the same time, it is also an indictment of war and what it causes.  The song’s subject states in the song’s lead verse, “I hear the call to arms/I shall answer at once/My brothers, now we march/Toward the sound of the guns/yes, men will die/But I will not be afraid/I remember the words that my father told me/My son, you must be brave/Your steel must be true/And upon that field of war, my son/You know what you must do.”  The story continues with the song’s subject paying tribute to his father, stating, “My father, my father/Your sons will stand tall/We will return to home/In victory or not at all/For I am no coward/I will laugh at death again/No onward my brothers/To our glorious end/Oh, the banner stands so tall/What glory awaits us all.”  The story continues even more over the course of the song’s nearly seven-minute run time, but does not have a happy ending.  The young soldier eventually dies as a result of a chemical attack. He and his fellow soldiers were gassed.  As the young man dies, he says, “My father, are you proud?/truly a glorious end/Into a silent tomb I fall/What glory awaits us all/Tell me father, have you lied?/this is no way for a soldier to die/Was there a meaning when I fell/Where is the glory/Where is the glory for me?”  Again, this becomes an indictment of war and its effects.  It is a not so veiled statement about those who blindly go off and serve out of their own inflated sense of patriotism and self aggrandizement.  It is a powerful statement that, when considered along with the album’s opening statement about the buildup of the industrial military complex, adds even more impact from the album.  Considered along with the rest of the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves itself to be a record that will appeal widely to Warbringer’s fans, those of the thrash realm and of the metal world in general.  Simply put, it makes itself an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Warbringer’s latest full-length studio recording Weapons of Tomorrow is an engaging and enjoyable new offering from the young thrash metal veterans.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content, as is evidenced through the songs examined here.  When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s offerings, the album in whole becomes another positive offering from Warbringer that boasts plenty of its own musical and lyrical firepower.  The album is available now through Napalm Records.  More information on Weapons of Tomorrow is available along with all of Warbringer’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.warbringermusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Warbringermusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/warbringerband

 

 

 

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Overkill Announces New North American Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill will return to North America next year for another run of live dates.

The band recently announced the schedule for its “Wings Over USA 2020 Tour.”  The tour is scheduled to launch Feb. 26 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA and to run through March 14 in Montclair, NJ.

The tour’s full schedule is noted below.  Tickets are available for all shows now.

Confirmed dates for OVERKILL‘s “Wings Over The USA” 2020 Tour with EXHORDER and HYDRAFORM are:

2/26/2020  Anaheim CA – House of Blues
2/27/2020  San Francisco CA – Slims
2/28/2020  Las Vegas NV – House of Blues
2/29/2020  San Diego CA – House of Blues
3/01/2020  Phoenix AZ – Crecent Ballroom
3/02/2020  Albuquerque NM – Sunshine Theater
3/04/2020  San Antonio TX – Aztec
3/05/2020  Corpus Christi TX – House of Rock
3/06/2020  Houston TX – Warehouse
3/07/2020  Dallas TX – Gas Monkey
3/08/2020  New Orleans LA – House of Blues
3/09/2020  Tampa FL – The Ritz
3/10/2020  Orlando FL – House of Blues
3/11/2020  Atlanta GA – Buckhead
3/12/2020  Charlotte NC – Underground @ The Fillmore
3/13/2020  Silver Springs MD – The Fillmore
3/14/2020  Montclair NJ – Wellmont Theater *
* with M.O.D. featuring Billy Milano and DEMOLITION HAMMER

Overkill front man Bobby Blitz commented on the upcoming tour in a recent interview.

“Let’s get this show on the road, “Wings Over USA” round two!,” he said.  “We are bringing two heavy hitters with us, Exhorder and Hydraform in what will shape up to be a sledgehammer thrash-fest.  Looking forward to seeing you all!  Horns up!”

Overkill’s upcoming North American run is in support of Wings of War, which was released Feb. 22.  The band released eight videos featuring the band members discussing various aspects of the album leading up to the album’s release.  Those videos are listed below.

Part I: Band Origin & Name
Part IIEarly influences the Genre  
Part IIIEast Coast vs. West Coast
Part IV: Old School Venues & Social Media!
Part V“Hello From The Gutter” music video, & the origins of their symbol: the bat skull (Chaly)
Part VI: Album Out Tomorrow
Part VII: Rise Of The Internet And The Evolution Of Digital Audio And Social Media
Part VIII: Defining Moments In The Band Members’ Careers

Along with the discussion videos, the album also spawned three singles — ‘Welcome To The Garden State,’ ‘Head of a Pin‘ and ‘Last Man Standing.’

More information on Overkill’s upcoming tour dates is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

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.

Devin Townsend’s ‘Empath’ Gives The Best Feeling For Audiences In This Year’s New Hard Rock/Metal Field

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

This year is one of the strongest in recent memory for metal masses around the world.  This year saw new releases — powerful new releases at that — from some of the most well-known and respected names in the metal community.  Slipknot’s new album We Are Not Your Kind is just one of those important new releases that the metal masses received this year.  Amon Amarth’s new album Berserker gave the masses just as much to appreciate, as did new albums from Dragonforce, Killswitch Engage and The Offering.

Between those records and so many others, it goes without saying that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums was anything but easy.  That’s especially the case considering the release early this year, of Devin Townsend’s new album Empath, Hyvmine’s new LP Retaliation and up-and-comers Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tu.  This critic took a long time trying to assemble this list.  It was not a chore taken lightly.  As with other lists from this critic, it features the Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal albums as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2019 Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. Devin Townsend — Empath
  2. Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind
  3. Amon Amarth — Berserker
  4. Overkill — The Wings of War
  5. The Offering — Home
  6. Bad Blood — Bad Blood
  7. Whitechapel — The Valley
  8. Hyvmine — Retaliation
  9. Dragonforce — Extreme Power Metal
  10. Of Mice & Men — EARTHANDSKY
  11. Dream Theater — Distance Over Time
  12. Killswitch Engage — Atonement
  13. Awake At Last — The Change
  14. Corroded — Bitter
  15. Alien Weaponry — Tu

 

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‘The Wings Of War’ Is Another Powerful Musical Salvo From Overkill

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Don’t fix what’s not broken.  We all know and have used that old adage more than once in our lives, including the members of the veteran thrash metal outfit Overkill.  It is an adage that the band’s members have used from one album to the next over the course of now more than 30 years.  While the band has maintained a very distinct sound from one album to the next, it has also tweaked that sound just enough with each outing, to make every album fresh and interesting.  That is why the veteran New Jersey-based outfit has remained one of the elite names in the thrash community for such a long time.  The band’s latest album, The Wings of War – its 14th so far – supports these statements just as much as its past albums through its musical and lyrical content. ‘Believe in The Fight,’ which comes early in the 10-song record’s body, is just one of the songs that helps prove the noted argument.  ‘Where Few Dare To Walk,’ which comes much later in the 50-minute album’s run, also works to support the noted argument.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  ‘Welcome To The Garden State,’ the album’s latest single, also exemplifies the statements made here.  When the songs noted here are considered along with other songs featured in this record, such as ‘Last Man Standing,’ – the album’s opener – ‘Distortion,’ Hole In My Soul’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of The Wings of War proves that the members of Overkill still knows how to entertain audiences.  To that end, it proves that Overkill as a unit still has plenty of fight left.

Overkill’s most recently released album The Wings of War is a strong new showing from the veteran New Jersey-based thrash metal outfit.  That is because from start to finish, it is a record that shows the band still knows how to expertly tweak its familiar thrash sound just enough to keep things interesting for audiences and keep its music fresh.  One of the songs featured in this record that supports that statement comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Believe in the Fight.’  In terms of its musical arrangement, the song is everything that the band’s fan base has come to expect from the group.  At the same time, a close listen to the song reveals a subtlety in the guitar lines that makes the song comparable to some of the best classic works of Metallica and Anthrax.  That is evident not just in the guitar lines, but in the drums and the choruses.  The similarity is not exact, thank goodness, but it is close enough.  One could go so far as to make a comparison to the songs from Metallica’s debut album Kill ‘Em All in listening to this song.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own take on the arrangement.  The arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content plays its own important part to its whole.

The song’s lyrical content presents a proud, forceful message of believing in one’s own self and not giving up in life.  This is inferred most clearly through the song’s chorus in which front man Bobby Blitz sings, “We’re not going tired/Or slowing in the quiet night/And we’re not leaving something to believe in/When you think there’s nothing left at all/Believe in the fight/And we do it/In the dark/In the light/One last time/Let’s get it right/With a heart as cold as ice/I believe in the fight/ What do you believe in/In the dark/In the light/One last time/Let’s get it right/When there’s nothing left to believe in/Believe in the fight.”  That is a rather clear message.  Blitz adds to that message in the song’s lead and second verse, saying he is not the type to lie to a person and make that person’s situation worse, nor is the person that type to do the same.  It is sort of one of those “and another thing” statements that serves to say to listeners, “I’ll be straight with you and I know you’ll be straight with me, so don’t give up.  Keep believing and fighting.”  It really is a positive message.  When this positive, uplifting message is coupled with the song’s old school 80s thrash metal style arrangement, the result is a song that shows clearly how much Overkill still has to offer.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show how much fight this band still has.  ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ is another example of just how much fight this band still has.

Just as is the case with ‘Believe in the Fight,’ ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  Again, the arrangement can be compared to some of the best works from Metallica.  In this case, the comparison can be made to the works from the band’s landmark 1986 album Master of Puppets.  That is evident right from the foreboding sound of the song’s opening bars and right into heavy, grinding sound that launches not long after.  If one wanted, one could even make a comparison to Metallica’s equally beloved album Ride The Lightning with this arrangement, too.  Again, it is not the typical up-tempo thrash style work for which Overkill has become known over the decades.  The band has tried this sort of sound previously, but only rarely.  To that end, it makes this change of pace another example of the continued ability of Overkill’s members to keep things engaging and entertaining for listeners.  Its arrangement is just one part of what makes it so interesting, too.  Its lyrical content helps it stand out, too.

The song’s lyrical content comes across as another statement reminding listeners to maintain their inner strength.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, as Blitz sings, “Cross your t’s and dot your I’s/Take note when the raven flies/And always keep one eye upon the fool/Without fear or favor, speak to them/With good behavior to condemn/And keep the other eye upon the cruel.”  He comes across as saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  He goes on to sing, “Reach down deep/Stand your ground/We’ve only just begun/Turn no cheek/In step and pound/Until the job is done/And walk,walk.”  There, in that chorus, is that message of standing up for one’s self and not being afraid to stand up for something.  As if that is not proof enough, he further notes, “Call them out/On their s***/demand they listen/When you talk/wear them down/bit by it/And go where few dare to walk.”  Blitz is saying, be brave, be willing to stand up for something and for one’s self.  That is because there are so few people who are brave enough to do just that.  He even goes so far as to stress, “Do unto others as unto you/Bite down on the golden rule/And always keep a match to light the fuse/Walk softly/Carry a big stick/and disassemble brick by brick/And never think our outcome is to lose.”  This is another welcome, empowering statement from the band that is certain to resonate with plenty of listeners.  When it is coupled with the song’s arrangement, the whole of the elements makes this song yet another example of just how much fight this band still has in it and what makes the album in whole another example of why Overkill remains today one of hard rocks’ elite acts.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes The Wings of War stand out just as much as Overkill’s past albums.  The loud, proud, fist-pumping anthem that is ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is one more example of how The Wings of War proves how much Overkill as a unit still has to offer.

‘The arrangement at the center of ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is yet another example of the ability of Overkill’s members to keep things fresh in that it takes the band’s familiar thrash style and crosses it with a more punk-style sound that ends up being comparable to some of Motorhead’s best works.  Yet again, here is Overkill as a unit changing things up just enough for listeners, and in turn keeping things quite interesting.  The song’s arrangement is just part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content stands out just as much as its musical arrangement.

Simply put, this song is a musical and lyrical love letter to New Jersey.  Blitz proudly sings in his signature gravelly tone, “Welcome to the Garden State/The best damn place in the U.S.A./You may not agree/You bitch and moan/I’ve been everywhere/But it’s not like home.”  He adds at the end of the song’s lead verse, “Don’t f*** with a jersey devil.”  In other words, he’s showing his Jersey pride.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  As a matter of fact, this critic’s own father was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and spent plenty of time there (and across the Northeast since this critic’s ancestors apparently helped found parts of New England, including New Haven, CT) throughout the years.  In other words, while maybe not living there now, this critic has plenty of his own Jersey pride and can relate to Blitz’s words.  That includes Blitz’s reference to the traffic on the turnpike and Route 35.  That home-state pride is a fun addition to the album, and once more shows – in an especially unique fashion – the continued ability of Overkill’s members to keep things fresh and interesting.  When this is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, fresh, interesting works couple with the band’s more familiar works for a whole that is another solid offering from Overkill.  It proves in whole to be an album that displays without doubt, this veteran hard rock outfit still has plenty of fight left in its members.

Overkill’s 14th full-length studio recording The Wings of War is a powerful new musical salvo from the veteran thrash metal band.  From start to end, this 10-song, 50 minute record gives listeners something old and something new.  The minor tweaks to the arrangements couple with lyrical themes that are just as certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained as the record’s musical content.  The end result is a record that is easily one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

 

 

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.

Overkill Debuts “Welcome To The Garden State” Docu-Series Finale

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill finished off its “Welcome to the Garden State” video docu-series this week.

The band debuted the last video in the series on Monday.  In the series’ finale, the band’s members discuss the defining moments that have shaped each man through the band’s evolution.

Front man Bobby Blitz offered his thoughts on those moments in a recent interview.

“Those defining moments make us what we are today,” Blitz said.  “So to say you are proud of yourself this many years later, you go back and say that’s because of those defining moments.  That’s because it made me the person I am today, or it made us the team we are whatever; through the lean times, rich times, good times or bad times. I think we always had the same ideas.  I think we always had the same ideas, but we had the same preparation.”

Overkill has released seven other videos previously in the series, with each video covering a variety of topics.  The whole list of videos and topics is noted below.

Part I: Band Origin & Name
Part IIEarly influences the Genre  
Part IIIEast Coast vs. West Coast
Part IV: Old School Venues & Social Media!
Part V“Hello From The Gutter” music video, & the origins of their symbol: the bat skull (Chaly)
Part VI: Album Out Tomorrow
Part VII: Rise Of The Internet And The Evolution Of Digital Audio And Social Media

The premiere of Overkill’s latest addition to its “Welcome to the Garden State” discussion comes a little more than a week after the debut of the seventh entry in the series and a little more than two weeks after the band debuted the music video for its latest single, ‘Welcome to the Garden State.’

‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is the third single to be released from Overkill’s new album The Wings of War.  It follows the release of ‘Head of a Pin‘ and ‘Last Man Standing,’ both of which have had their own companion videos crafted.

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill will launch a tour in support of The Wings of War on April 25 alongside Death Angel and Act of Defiance.  The two-week-plus tour is scheduled to start in Baltimore, MD and wind down May 11 in Boston, MA.  It also features performances scheduled in Nashville, TN; Detroit, MI and Milwaukee, WI.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Confirmed dates for the OVERKILL Wings Over The USA 2019 Tour with DEATH ANGEL & ACT OF DEFIANCE are:
4/25/2019  Sound Stage/ Rams Head  – Baltimore, MD
4/26/2019  Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA 
4/27/2019  Rex Theater –  Pittsburgh, PA 
4/28/2019  House of Blues  – Cleveland, OH
4/29/2019  Mercury Ballroom  – Louisville, KY
4/30/2019  St Andrews Hall  – Detroit, MI 
5/01/2019  Intersection  – Grand Rapids, MI 
5/02/2019  House of Blues – Chicago, IL 
5/03/2019  Varsity Theater –  Minneapolis, MN
5/04/2019  The Rave –  Milwaukee, WI         
5/05/2019  Delmar Hall  – St Louis, MO
5/06/2019  The Cannery Ballroom  – Nashville, TN      
5/08/2019  Bogarts  – Cincinnati, OH  
5/09/2019  Anthology  – Rochester, NY  
5/10/2019  PlayStation Theater – New York, NY **w/ Life Of Agony
5/11/2019  Paradise – Boston, MA

The Wings of War is available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

The Wings Of War will be available for purchase in the following formats:

  • CD Digipak
  • CD Digi + T-Shirt + Poster Bundle
  • Green Cassette
  • Grey Vinyl (limited to 1,500)
  • Green with Yellow Splatter vinyl (limited to 500)
Please note that imported items will ship

The full track listing for The Wings of War is noted below.

Below is the track listing for The Wings Of War
1              Last Man Standing
2              Believe In The Fight
3              Head Of A Pin
4              Bat Shit Crazy
5              Distortion
6              A Mother’s Prayer
7              Welcome To The Garden State
8              Where Few Dare To Walk
9              Out On The Road-Kill
10           Hole In My Soul

More information on The Wings of War is available online now along with all of Overkill’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OverkilLWreckingCrew

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OverkillBand

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.

Overkill Debuts Seventh ‘Welcome To The Garden State’ Discussion Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill continued its “Welcome To The Garden State” docu-video series this week.

The band premiered the seventh video in the series on Tuesday.  In this latest entry in the ongoing series, the band’s members talk about the rise of the internet and its impact on music sales.  It is a discussion that will please fans of physical media.

Overkill has released six other videos previously in the series, with each video covering a variety of topics.  The whole list of videos and topics is noted below.

Part I: Band Origin & Name
Part IIEarly influences the Genre  
Part IIIEast Coast vs. West Coast
Part IV: Old School Venues & Social Media!
Part V“Hello From The Gutter” music video, & the origins of their symbol: the bat skull (Chaly)
Part VI: Album Out Tomorrow

The premiere of Overkill’s latest addition to its “Welcome to the Garden State” discussion came only four days after the band debuted the video for its latest single, also titled ‘Welcome to the Garden State.’

‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is the third single to be released from Overkill’s new album The Wings of War.  It follows the release of ‘Head of a Pin‘ and ‘Last Man Standing,’ both of which have had their own companion videos crafted.

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill will launch a tour in support of The Wings of War on April 25 alongside Death Angel and Act of Defiance.  The two-week-plus tour is scheduled to start in Baltimore, MD and wind down May 11 in Boston, MA.  It also features performances scheduled in Nashville, TN; Detroit, MI and Milwaukee, WI.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Confirmed dates for the OVERKILL Wings Over The USA 2019 Tour with DEATH ANGEL & ACT OF DEFIANCE are:
4/25/2019  Sound Stage/ Rams Head  – Baltimore, MD
4/26/2019  Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA 
4/27/2019  Rex Theater –  Pittsburgh, PA 
4/28/2019  House of Blues  – Cleveland, OH
4/29/2019  Mercury Ballroom  – Louisville, KY
4/30/2019  St Andrews Hall  – Detroit, MI 
5/01/2019  Intersection  – Grand Rapids, MI 
5/02/2019  House of Blues – Chicago, IL 
5/03/2019  Varsity Theater –  Minneapolis, MN
5/04/2019  The Rave –  Milwaukee, WI         
5/05/2019  Delmar Hall  – St Louis, MO
5/06/2019  The Cannery Ballroom  – Nashville, TN      
5/08/2019  Bogarts  – Cincinnati, OH  
5/09/2019  Anthology  – Rochester, NY  
5/10/2019  PlayStation Theater – New York, NY **w/ Life Of Agony
5/11/2019  Paradise – Boston, MA

The Wings of War is available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.

The Wings Of War will be available for purchase in the following formats:

  • CD Digipak
  • CD Digi + T-Shirt + Poster Bundle
  • Green Cassette
  • Grey Vinyl (limited to 1,500)
  • Green with Yellow Splatter vinyl (limited to 500)
Please note that imported items will ship

The full track listing for The Wings of War is noted below.

Below is the track listing for The Wings Of War
1              Last Man Standing
2              Believe In The Fight
3              Head Of A Pin
4              Bat Shit Crazy
5              Distortion
6              A Mother’s Prayer
7              Welcome To The Garden State
8              Where Few Dare To Walk
9              Out On The Road-Kill
10           Hole In My Soul

More information on The Wings of War is available online now along with all of Overkill’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OverkilLWreckingCrew

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OverkillBand

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.

 

Overkill Continues Its ‘Welcome To The Garden State’ Video Series

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill will release its new album next week, and in anticipation of the album’s release, the band has released one more video in its docu-series, “Welcome To The Garden State.”

The band released the fifth video in the series on Friday.  In this latest video, the band’s members discuss the creation of the video for its single ‘Hello From The Gutter’ and the birth of its “mascot’ “Chaly” the bat skull.

The band’s members discussed in the series’ previous installments, venues that they attended in their formative years, and the venues in which they performed, East coast vs. West coast sound, their early influences and the band’s place in the industry, and the band’s roots.

Overkill’s docu-series is just part of its efforts to promote its forthcoming album The Wings of War.  The band has also released videos for the album’s singles Head of a Pin and Last Man Standing.

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Along with its new video, the band also recently announced a new slate of live dates in support of The Wings of War.  Death Angel and Act of Defiance will serve as support on the tour.

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

Confirmed dates for the OVERKILL Wings Over The USA 2019 Tour with DEATH ANGEL & ACT OF DEFIANCE are:
4/25/2019  Sound Stage/ Rams Head  – Baltimore, MD
4/26/2019  Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA 
4/27/2019  Rex Theater –  Pittsburgh, PA 
4/28/2019  House of Blues  – Cleveland, OH
4/29/2019  Mercury Ballroom  – Louisville, KY
4/30/2019  St Andrews Hall  – Detroit, MI 
5/01/2019  Intersection  – Grand Rapids, MI 
5/02/2019  House of Blues – Chicago, IL 
5/03/2019  Varsity Theater –  Minneapolis, MN
5/04/2019  The Rave –  Milwaukee, WI
5/05/2019  Delmar Hall  – St Louis, MO
5/06/2019  The Cannery Ballroom  – Nashville, TN      
5/08/2019  Bogarts  – Cincinnati, OH  
5/09/2019  Anthology  – Rochester, NY  
5/10/2019  PlayStation Theater – New York, NY **w/ Life Of Agony
5/11/2019  Paradise – Boston, MA

The Wings of War will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.  Pre-orders for The Wings of War are open now.

The Wings Of War will be available for purchase in the following formats:

  • CD Digipak
  • CD Digi + T-Shirt + Poster Bundle
  • Green Cassette
  • Grey Vinyl (limited to 1,500)
  • Green with Yellow Splatter vinyl (limited to 500)
Please note that imported items will ship

The full track listing for The Wings of War is noted below.

Below is the track listing for The Wings Of War
1              Last Man Standing
2              Believe In The Fight
3              Head Of A Pin
4              Bat Shit Crazy
5              Distortion
6              A Mother’s Prayer
7              Welcome To The Garden State
8              Where Few Dare To Walk
9              Out On The Road-Kill
10           Hole In My Soul

More information on The Wings of War is available online now along with all of Overkill’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OverkilLWreckingCrew

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OverkillBand

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.

 

 

Overkill Releases New “Welcome To The Garden State” Entry; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill released another new entry in its “Welcome to the Garden State” docu-series this week.

The band premiered the latest installment in the series on Thursday.  This latest addition finds the band’s members talking about venues that they attended in their formative years, and the venues in which they performed.  The segment runs almost eight minutes.

The band’s members discussed in the series’ previous installments, the East coast vs. West coast sound, their early influences and the band’s place in the industry, and the band’s roots.

The band’s docu-series is just part of its efforts to promote its forthcoming album The Wings of War.  The band has also released videos for the album’s singles Head of a Pin and Last Man Standing.

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Along with its new video, the band also recently announced a new slate of live dates in support of The Wings of War.  Death Angel and Act of Defiance will serve as support on the tour.

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

Confirmed dates for the OVERKILL Wings Over The USA 2019 Tour with DEATH ANGEL & ACT OF DEFIANCE are:
4/25/2019  Sound Stage/ Rams Head  – Baltimore, MD
4/26/2019  Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA 
4/27/2019  Rex Theater –  Pittsburgh, PA 
4/28/2019  House of Blues  – Cleveland, OH
4/29/2019  Mercury Ballroom  – Louisville, KY
4/30/2019  St Andrews Hall  – Detroit, MI 
5/01/2019  Intersection  – Grand Rapids, MI 
5/02/2019  House of Blues – Chicago, IL 
5/03/2019  Varsity Theater –  Minneapolis, MN
5/04/2019  The Rave –  Milwaukee, WI
5/05/2019  Delmar Hall  – St Louis, MO
5/06/2019  The Cannery Ballroom  – Nashville, TN      
5/08/2019  Bogarts  – Cincinnati, OH  
5/09/2019  Anthology  – Rochester, NY  
5/10/2019  PlayStation Theater – New York, NY **w/ Life Of Agony
5/11/2019  Paradise – Boston, MA

The Wings of War will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.  Pre-orders for The Wings of War are open now.

The Wings Of War will be available for purchase in the following formats:

  • CD Digipak
  • CD Digi + T-Shirt + Poster Bundle
  • Green Cassette
  • Grey Vinyl (limited to 1,500)
  • Green with Yellow Splatter vinyl (limited to 500)
Please note that imported items will ship

The full track listing for The Wings of War is noted below.

Below is the track listing for The Wings Of War
1              Last Man Standing
2              Believe In The Fight
3              Head Of A Pin
4              Bat Shit Crazy
5              Distortion
6              A Mother’s Prayer
7              Welcome To The Garden State
8              Where Few Dare To Walk
9              Out On The Road-Kill
10           Hole In My Soul

More information on The Wings of War is available online now along with all of Overkill’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OverkilLWreckingCrew

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

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.

Corroded Will Leave Listeners Feeling Anything But Bitter On Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest full-length studio recording this week, and the album, Bitter, is another strong new offering from the veteran Swedish band.  Front man Jens Westlin explained the album’s title “comes from observing how the social climate is around the world right now…Everyone’s so dissatisfied and thinks that everyone else’s life is so much better than theirs, and if something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault.  As a result of this, all power hungry leaders in this world thrive on the dissatisfaction of the people and gain power that way.”  He added that these views are what inspired the band’s new album both musically, and lyrically.  The band’s reaction to that situation is on full display early on in the form of the song ‘Cross,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run is another standout addition to Bitter, that shows quite well, the band’s response to everything going on.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Drown,’ which comes even later in the album’s run is another notable addition to the album’s overall statement about the world’s current social and political climate.  It will also be discussed later.  Each of the three songs noted here are key in their own way to the whole of Bitter.  When considered along with the other nine songs featured in the album not directly noted here, the end result is a powerful new offering from Corroded that will light a new fire within listeners and leave them feeling anything but bitter.

Corroded’s fifth full-length studio recording Bitter is another strong new offering from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  The new, 12-song record, which is the band’s second for Sweden-based Despotz Records, shows from start to finish, that the quartet can easily hold its own against its more well-known hard rock and metal counterparts.  This is proven early on in the form of ‘Cross.’  The song’s up-tempo, guitar-driven musical arrangement helps to support that statement.  The arrangement conjures thoughts of Five Finger Death Punch, Soil, Dry Kill Logic and other similar acts.  The fiery energy exuded through the arrangement, coupled with Westlin’s growling vocals does a commendable job of illustrating the anger and frustration that Westlin attempts to present in the song’s lyrical content.

That seeming mix of strong emotions is inferred as he sings, “Our mistakes…they have never ever been this clear/All the pain/And the misery/Every word that was said out of fear/Every thorn/In the side/The suffering we had to endure/We never stopped/It isn’t easy/There will never ever be a cure/Every breath that we take/Is a waste of the air we possess/All the s*** that we give….I won’t be nailed upon your cross/I will not take the pain for you/It’s time to own your mistakes/It’s time for you to fall.”  Westlin’s fire hardly dies in the song’s second verse as he sings of having to carry someone else’s agony and misery, and refusing to do so any longer before returning to the chorus’ powerful message pointing the finger back at the proverbial stone casters and finger pointers.  Guitarist Thomas Andersson, bassist Bjarne Elvsgard and drummer Per Solang are to be commended in their own right for their work throughout the song, and especially in its bridge as they work together to help illustrate that feeling of emotional strain that one goes through when one is blamed for something that happened to someone else.  Instead of being the fiery work that is exhibited through the rest of the song, it presents a certain vibe of someone trying to get over those feelings of self-guilt and realizing people cause their own problems in many cases.  It is a brief moment in the bigger picture of the song, but powerful in its own right.  When it considered along with Westlin’s unapologetic lyrical content and the rest of the song’s unflinching arrangement, the whole proves to be an unquestionably forceful response to that bitterness of which Westlin spoke, which led to much of the album’s creation.  It is just one of the album’s most standout entries.  ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the album.

In regards to its musical arrangement, ‘Scream’ is a work that is certain to appeal to thrash metal purists out there.  Again, the similarities to Dry Kill Logic are front and center here.  At the same time, one can also argue influences from the likes of Overkill, Exodus, Anthrax and other similar acts, thanks again to the collective work of Andersson, Elvsgard and Solang.

The energy exuded through this thrash-style work does its own commendable job of illustrating the urgency in the song’s lyrics; an urgency that seems to center on the issue of self-determination and not letting the currently bitter state of the world bring one down.  This is inferred as Westlin sings with his band mates in the song’s chorus, “Scream/Until your lungs give out/Don’t roll over and die/Shout/Until everything is said/Don’t give up…”  This positive message is coupled with an equally positive vibe in the song’s verses.  Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Inhale/Let everything around go down/Find a moment of peace/React/The perfect storm is here right now/You are the center of its eye.”  Westlin’s message is relatively clear in this verse, especially considering the song’s chorus.  He is saying that we create the storm that surrounds us, and the way to survive that storm is to find our inner peace, to jet let everything out, not hold it in.  he even comes right out in the song’s second verse and states, “Exhale/Let matters fall right into place/Find a calm inside yourself.”  He goes on to say, “you are the center of the mass.”  Yet again, here we have a relatively clear statement of how we are the source and solution to all of our problems.  This is a positive message, from which plenty of listeners can and hopefully will take some enlightenment.  When it is coupled with that previously discussed musical arrangement, the whole is a song that is therapeutic in the best way possible, and yet another wonderful response to the negativity that is polluting the world right now.  It is far from the last example of the album’s clear ability to respond to the world’s current climate.  ‘Drown’ is yet another example of how well the band has responded to everything going on around the globe.

‘Drown’ is the penultimate addition to Bitter.  Musically, this song is another interesting composition.  The verses are once again up-tempo, guitar-drive, adrenaline-fueled sections.  The choruses however, are far more melodic.  What is interesting is that the song does not lose any of its energy in the choruses.  It just changes style, in turn, keeping the work moving forward.  The song’s bridge hints at some 80s influences through Andersson’s guitar work, which is not an entirely bad thing.  Of course, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content leads it to stand out just as much as its musical content.

Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wish I could break the spell that binds us here/You know to each his own…Just go and do/As you please…It must be done my way/It must be done your way.  Some of his wording is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference, but the seeming message becomes partially clear.  Later in the song’s nearly five-minute song, he goes on to sing, of looking back on a chain that has been broken and will not leave any marks.  This is just this critic’s own take, but it would seem that Westlin is speaking metaphorically here to address social control, with the chain being that control, broken.  That would explain Westlin’s earlier statement of “It must be done my way/It must be done your way.”  There is that problem of everyone wanting things in life their way, but we as a people do not have to let it be one person’s way or another, but rather our own way, regardless of what everyone else says.  We can respect others’ ways, but we do not have to live by those ways.  That goes back to the initial statement of “Wish I could break that spell that binds us here/You know to each his own.” It all seems to come together in a statement of not giving in to what everyone says one should do and be.  Again, this should not be taken as the only interpretation, but merely that of this critic.  Hopefully this critic is at least somewhere in the ballpark with that interpretation, as it would seem to be another response to the world’s negativity, as addressed by Westlin about the album’s overall theme.  When it is considered along with the seeming messages presented in ‘Scream,’ Cross’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of Bitter becomes a work in whole that will leave listeners anything but bitter.

Corroded’s latest full-length studio recording Bitter is a record that is certain to leave listeners feeling anything but bitter about the world after they listen from start to finish, to the 12-song record.  That is because of the messages presented in the songs, which come across as various responses to the world’s bitterness – responses that are in fact not overly bitter themselves.  That is evidenced early on in ‘Cross,’ which points the finger back at the finger pointers, and again later in the album’s run in ‘Scream,’ which seems to encourage people to get their negativity out (of course in a positive way), and even later seems to encourage people to embrace their personal identity, rather than give in to social control in ‘Drown.’  These are just some of the songs featured in this record that clearly address everything going on in the world.  The Type O Negative-esque ‘Black’ seems to address’ people’s self-imposed misery while the In Flames-styled ‘Breathing’ comes across as sending a message of not giving up even in the most dire situations.  The old-school metal style work that is ‘Testament’ is a defiant anthem that comes across as encouraging people to stand up for themselves against all odds.  Again, this is all this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark in each case, including that of the songs more directly discussed.  If indeed this critic’s interpretations are right, then again, this record proves that much more to be quite the successful offering from Corroded, and easily one of the year’s first great hard rock/metal records.  It is available now.  More information on Bitter is available online now along with all of Corroded’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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