BMG’s New Overkill Box Set Proves To Be A Mostly Positive New Presenation

Courtesy: BMG

More than three months after it was initially scheduled for release, Overkill’s long-awaited box set, The Atlantic Years: 19861994, will apparently finally see the light of day this month, on Feb. 18.  The six-disc collection was originally scheduled for release Oct. 29 through BMG, but was delayed from there.  Officials at the label did not provide comment about what caused the delay.  The collection is a welcome release for any Overkill fan.  That is due in part to its general presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging at least in the way of its CD presentation is a positive, as the related pricing.  The set’s vinyl set is another issue.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this box set.  All things considered, they make the collection a mostly positive presentation that any Overkill fan will appreciate.

BMG’s forthcoming Overkill box set, The Atlantic Years: 19861994, is a mostly successful presentation.  It is an offering that most Overkill fans will appreciate.  That is due in large part to its general presentation.  As the set’s title indicates, it features all six of the albums that the band released during its time with Atlantic Records.  Those albums are: Taking Over (1987), Under The Influence (1988), The Years of Decay (1989), Horrorscope (1991), I Hear Black (1993), and W.F.O. (1994).  They are the band’s second through seventh albums.  The band’s debut album, Feel The Fire was released in 1985 through Megaforce Records, which was started by the late, great John Zazula.  The albums featured in this collection represent Overkill’s formative years in one setting. The Years of Decay is especially important because despite a les than stellar charting through Billboard, the fact of the matter is that it has since gone on to be known as a key record for the band because of its influence on the then burgeoning groove metal scene.  It was and is considered a work that heavily influenced that sound.  On a wider range, the albums also saw a numberof shakeups in the band’s lineup.  Considering all the personnel changes that the band saw through the albums, one would have thought it would have had an impact, and not in a good way, on the product, but the albums each received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans alike.  To that end, these albums are collectively, a representation of Overkill as a band finding its footing while also establishing itself (and successfully so) within the hard rock and metal communities.  Keeping that in mind, having all six albums together in one place will help Overkill fans and more casual thrash fans fully understand and appreciate the importance of this period in Overkill’s life.  This is just one of the ways in which this box set succeeds.  Its packaging, at least in the form of its CD platform, is a positive to the presentation, too.

The packaging of the albums in their CD platform is important because of its ergonomic design.  All six albums are housed inside their own “sleeves” within a larger box.  The “sleeves” in question each present the front and rear artwork from the albums’ original releases.  Yes, that is just an aesthetic item, but it still will appeal to audiences because it shows BMG’s attempt to really win over audiences.  The box in which the records are placed is just large enough to house them, too.  Its depth is roughly equal to that of an old school double-CD album case.  In other words, the box containing the albums is not overly large, but not tiny, either.  That means it will save space in any Overkill fan’s home, whether on a CD rack or elsewhere where they place box sets. 

The set’s vinyl box set, by comparison is far larger.  It has to be larger, too, in order to be able to house each large, vinyl disc.  Those discs take up a lot more space than the CD collection, so again, this makes the CD platform’s packaging all the more appealing.  Keeping that in mind along with the importance of the set’s general presentation, the set proves all the more positive a presentation.  The set’s pricing, again at least in reference to its CD platform, rounds out its most important items.

The average price point for the set’s CD platform is $51.65.  That price, which puts each album’s price at less than $10 (quite the deal in itself), is reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The CD platform was not listed through Books-A-Million, Walmart, and Best Buy.  Rather, they list the set in its vinyl platform.  The set’s average price point on vinyl is $165.36.  This is a restrictive price point for any Overkill fan.  The listing of $199.99 through Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Best Buy are even more restrictive.  By comparison, the most expensive of the CD platform’s listings is $54.99 (through Barnes & Noble Booksellers).  Meanwhile listings of $49.98 and $49.99 through Amazon and Target respectively are each below the CD platform’s average.  They make the albums just under $10 per album, too.  So again, in looking at all of these figures, it becomes even clearer why the collection’s CD platform pricing is a positive.  The average and separate listings are far more affordable than those of its vinyl platform.  When this is considered along with the collection’s general presentation and packaging, all three items make the set overall a success for Overkill and for BMG. 

Overkill’s forthcoming box set, The Atlantic Years: 19861994, is a mostly positive new offering from the band and from BMG.  It is a presentation that any Overkill fan will appreciate.  That is proven in part through its general presentation, which features all six albums that the band released in its formative years through Atlantic Records.  The packaging for the set’s CD platform is another positive.  That is because of the amount of space that it saves on any audience’s CD rack and elsewhere.  The set’s pricing rounds out its most important items.  That is especially the case when comparing the set’s pricing to that of its vinyl counterpart.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this collection.  All things considered, they make The Atlantic Years: 19861994 a mostly successful new offering from Overkill and BMG that any Overkill fan will appreciate.

The Atlantic Years: 19861994 is scheduled for release Feb. 18 through BMG.  More information on Overkill’s new box set is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OverkillBand

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Pierced Announces New Album Title, Release Date; Premieres Lead Single’s Video

Courtesy:Adrenaline PR

Independent hard rock band Pierced will release its debut album, Cheers To Brutality this spring.

In anticipation of the record’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘You Can’t Play God With Me,’ Monday through BraveWords. The video is a straight forward presentation that features the band performing its new single on a simply lit sound stage.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘You Can’t Play God With Me’ is a composition that thrash metal fans will enjoy. More specifically, the arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Testament, Exodus, and Overkill.

The lyrical theme featured in the band’s new song delivers a familiar sociopolitical message, said front man Rob Middleton.

“’You Can’t Play God with Me’ basically describes your modern day power trippers, the people who seek control over the majority of us, whether it’s corporations, so-called experts or our own government, telling us what they think is best for us,” he said. “They use the fear machine to force conformity which for a guy like me, immediately triggers resistance.”

Cheers To Brutality was produced by Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob, Her Chariot Awaits, Stereo Satellite).

More information on Pierced’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://piercedtheband.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pierced_band

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.

Overkill Announces Details For Long-Awaited Re-scheduled Concert

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Overkill will finally return home this month to perform live.

More than seven months after being forced to cancel its performance at Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ, Overkill will make up the concert this month. The band is scheduled to perform live Nov. 13 as part of the support for its most recent album, The Wings of War. The band was originally scheduled to perform at the venue March 14, but complications arose, causing the performance’s postponement.

Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence) will fill in for guitarist Dave Linsk, who was unable to make the re-scheduled date.

Drummer Jason Bittner said he was looking forward to Demmel joining the band for the one-off show.

“Even though I am disappointed that our very own Dave Linsk can not participate in this show, I am more than psyched and confident that my longtime friend Phil Demmel will get the job done for us,” he said.  We have a long history together playing a bunch of NAMM events and have toured together in the past so this should be a lot of fun!”

Demmel shared Bittner’s excitement about the concert in talking about sharing his talents for the event.

“So excited to jam with my bros in OVERKILL in NJ!!,” he said. “I’m neck-deep in learning the parts and expect a raging show!”

Front man Bobby Blitz had the following to say about the re-scheduling and having Demmel lend his talents to the concert: “We had a few issues getting this rescheduled show together, but to hell with the issues, we all have problems! And wouldn’t you know it our bro and your’s, Phil Demmel to the rescue! The show must and will go on! See you at the Wellmont Jersey…” 

More information on Overkill’s new concert is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OverkillBand

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

‘Everything Louder Forever’ Is A Fitting Tribute To The Legacy Of Motorhead

Courtesy: BMG

Motorhead fans got a very special early Halloween treat over the weekend courtesy of BMG.  The treat in question came Friday in the form of the new compilation set, Everything Louder Forever.  The truly career-defining collection is just the latest from BMG, which also released a new collection of albums from Sepultura last month.  The company also has a new box set of Overkill’s albums scheduled for release next month.  Getting back on the subject at hand, BMG’s new Motorhead collection is a presentation that every Motorhead fan will welcome.  That is due in large part to its featured songs, which will be discussed shortly.  The set’s availability is also of note and will be examined a little later.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the collection yet another impressive offering for Motorhead fans.

Motorhead fans have had plenty to enjoy from the band this year.  The band’s then new live recording, Louder Than NoiseLive in Berlin was released in April, this roughly six months after the band released the expanded 40th anniversary edition of its 1980 album, Ace of Spades in late October 2020.  The release of Louder Than NoiseLive in Berlin was followed a little more than two months later with the re-issue of the band’s classic live recording, No Sleep Til Hammersmith in another expanded package.  Now the band is closing out the second straight year with another big release in the form of Everything Louder Forever.  The expansive compilation spans the band’s nearly 40-year career with songs from nearly every one of the band’s 23 total albums, including its 1984 compilation record, No Remorse.  Only one of the band’s albums – On Parole (1979) — is left out here.  Every other record gets at least one nod, while others receive representation through multiple songs.  In other words, this compilation is not just another run-of-the-mill singles collection.  It is a career-spanning collection that pulls from the band’s biggest albums and its lesser-known releases.  Even the songs are a mix of singles and lesser-known songs.  ‘Ace of Spades’ is here alongside ‘Shine.’  ‘Motorhead,’ from the band’s self-titled 1977 debut is also here alongside the likes of ‘Rock Out’ from 2008’s Motorizer and ‘I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care)’ from the band’s 1991 album, 1916.  In all, the collection’s songs total 42 in all.  They come from every one of the band’s official releases.  For those who don’t know, Parole was actually released in 1979, but was done so without the band’s approval, so for all intents and purposes, it is an unofficial Motorhead release.  To that end, this collection’s songs represent the whole of the band’s catalog in one setting for the first time ever.  If that is not reason enough to own this collection, nothing is.  This is just one reason for audiences to own the collection.  The collection’s availability adds to its appeal.

The 42 total songs that make up the collection’s body are presented on separate 2 CD and 4 LP platforms.  It is also available as a separate 2 LP/2 CD set, digital download, and through streaming.  In other words, the collection is available through a wide range of platforms.  Whether one prefers CD, LP, or digital, the collection is available to fans of every kind of audio delivery.  The fact that officials at BMG would make sure to release the collection on so many sets is important to note in that it shows they made sure not to alienate any of the band’s fans at any level.  It makes sure that all of the band’s fans were approached, and is so laudable in its own way.  When this is considered along with the set’s packaging, the two elements enhance the presentation even more.  That item – the packaging – rounds out the set’s most important elements. 

From what can be inferred from pictures of the packages, the 2 CD set is in a gatefold presentation in which the CDs sit on their own spindles therein.  This protects the discs from touching and marring one another.  The 4 LP set places each vinyl disc into its own standalone sleeve of sorts inside a larger box that holds each sleeve.  This protects the vinyl discs from one another in its own way.  The 2LP set meanwhile sets the LPs into a gatefold package, too.  Each disc rests in its own side, thus protecting the discs even in this case.  Keeping all of this in mind, BMG clearly took time to make sure that the discs could be played by for a long time, considering the noted packaging for each platform.  What’s more, it also shows that BMG made sure not to alienate any of the band’s fans at the same time by releasing the collection through so many platforms.  Keeping all of this in mind, the set’s packaging proves to be just as important to its presentation as its content.  Together, the two elements make the set even more appealing to Motorhead fans.  Keeping all of this in mind, the set’s availability and its related packaging make this presentation the best Motorhead set to date.

BMG’s brand new Motorhead collection, Everything Louder Forever, is the best retrospective of the band’s catalog to date.  It is a must have for any Motorhead fan.  That is proven in large part through the recording’s featured songs.  The songs – 42 in all – are a full representation of the band’s official catalog.  It reaches all the way back to the band’s 199 self-titled debut and all the way to the band’s final studio album, 2015’s Bad Magic.  Along the way, every one of the band’s albums is represented by at least one song, with some getting multiple nods.  The availability of the album on multiple platforms ensures that none of the band’s fans are alienated.  From fans of vinyl to digital aficionados to those who prefer CDs, everyone can enjoy the collection.  The set’s packaging in each platform ensures the discs are protected from one another, thus making sure audiences can enjoy the music for a long time to come provided they take proper care of the collection.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make Everything Louder Forever the best of this year’s new compilations and the best Motorhead compilation to date.

Everything Louder Forever is available now through BMG. More information on Motorhead’s new hits collection from BMG is available along with all of the latest Motorhead news at:

Websitehttps://www.motorhead.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialMotorhead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/myMotorhead

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.  

All Treat, No Tricks: Overkill Announces Details For New Box Set

Courtesy: BMG

Overkill fans will get an early Halloween treat this year.

The band announced Wednesday through a news release, that it will release a new comprehensive box set Oct. 29 through BMG. The box set, The Atlantic Years: 1986 – 1994 features all six albums that the band released during its time with the nationally- and internationally-known record label: Taking Over (1987), Under The Influence (1988), The Years of Decay (1989), Horroscope (1991), I Hear Black (1993), and W.F.O. (1994).

Pre-orders are open. The six-disc collection will release on vinyl and CD. The box’s vinyl presentation marks the first time in more than a decade that the albums have released on that platform. A trailer for the album’s release is streaming here.

The Atlantic Years: 1986 – 1994 will come more than two years after the release of Overkill’s then latest album, Wings of War, which was released in February 2019 through Nuclear Blast Records..

More information on Overkill’s new box set is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OverkillBand

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Deko Entertainment To Release The Bronx Casket Company’s Catalog In New Box Set

Courtesy: Deko Entertainment

Overkill bassist DD Verni’s side project, The Bronx Casket Company, will see its full catalog re-issued together next month.

The band’s four-album catalog is scheduled for release Nov. 13 through Deko Entertainment in the form of The Bronx Casket Company: The Complete Collection. The five-disc collection will feature all four of the band’s albums plus a bonus fifth disc that features previously unreleased demos, remixes, a cover of The Misfits’ classic song ‘Ghouls Night Out’ and a new “mashup-up” cover of Black Sabbath’s songs ‘The Writ/’Megalomania’ that is dubbed ‘Sabatage-d.’

The upcoming box set is limited to 500 copies, with 100 copies set aside for a special Friday the 13th bundle that features even more extras, such as a T-shirt, toy, band patch, and personalized death certificate for fans that is signed by the members of The Bronx Casket Company. The special bundles are available to order here.

Verni said in a recent interview, he was looking forward to the box set’s release.

“I’m so psyched to have the whole catalog in one spot,” he said. “The four records were all so completely different yet part of the same idea, so seeing it all together is very cool.  A bonus disc with demos and extra tracks, as well as all kinds of collectibles makes it something really unique.  It was fun to get back with the guys to bang out the Black Sabbath Sabatage-d song too, felt almost like we never took a break.  I get asked all the time if there will ever be another full length album….hey ya never know.”

Alan Douches (The Misfits, Mastadon, etc.) re-mastered the music in the box set. The set’s track listing is noted below.

“The Complete Collection” Tracklist: 

CD 1 Tracklist: 
Who Lives Forever 
Change the World 
Mercy Ltd. 
No Miracles 
La Triste Verita 
Vampire War 
I Am God Here 
Savior 
Alone (Chanson Pour Les Immortels) 
Jump in the Fire 
The Bad Guy 

CD 2 Tracklist: 
Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore 
The Other Me 
Sewing The Dead 
BCC / Sweet Home Transylvania 
Black Valentine 
Killing Mary Jane 
Dead… For The Moment 
Blue Collar Horror 
Creeperia 

CD 3 Tracklist: 
Little Dead Girl 
Everything I Got 
Dream Of Angels 
Sherimoon 
Bleed With Me 
Motorcrypt 
Let My People Go 
Free Bird 
In My Skin 
Can’t Stop The Rain 
Mortician’s Lullaby 
Live For Death

CD 4 Tracklist: 
Antihero 
Bonesaw 
You Look Like Hell 
Sally 
I Never Loved You Anyway 
Holy Mother 
I Am No One 
Memphis Scarecrow 
Selling My Soul 
Death On Two Legs 
Let Me Be Your Nightmare 
NYC (Devils Playground) 
Alive! 
My Way 

CD 5 Tracklist: 
Sabatage-d (Sabbath mash-up) 
Free Bird (alt mix) 
Sherimoon (remix) 
Ghouls Night Out (unreleased) 
Vampire War (demo) 
No Miracles (demo) 
Don’t Pray For Me (demo)

More information on this and other titles from Deko Entertainment is available at:

Website: http://www.dekoentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dekoentertain

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phillspicks 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.

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

 

 

 

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.

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

 

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.