Established Acts Dominate Phil’s Picks 2022 Top New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: earMusic

This year was quite the interesting time for the rock community.  That’s because of the wide range of acts who produced new albums throughout the year.  Queensryche, Skid Row, and Joe Satriani all released their latest albums this year, all of which proved quite successful.  Rock super group Motor Sister also released their debut album, to its own acclaim, as did Slash, Scorpions, and Collective Soul.  Between all of these and so many others, the rock albums released this year gave audiences plenty to appreciate, thus the call for a list of the year’s top new rock albums.

This year’s list of top new rock albums serves as a reminder of all that is so good with the rock industry, proving yet again that as much as certain corporate entities would have people believe, rock is not dead.  Rather it is as alive as ever and as healthy, too.  As in years past, Phil’s Picks presents the top 10 records of the given category and five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Those five honorable mentions are no less engaging and entertaining as the other 10.  They just happen to be of their own note.

To that end here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Joe Satriani – Elephants of Mars
  2. Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
  3. Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The conspirators – 4
  4. Motor Sister – Get Off
  5. Derek Sherinian – Vortex
  6. Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here
  7. Michael Schenker Group – Universal
  8. Fozzy – Boombox
  9. Ginger Wildheart and The Sinners – Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners
  10. Soraia – Bloom
  11. Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance
  12. The Dead Daisies – Radiance
  13. Ty Tabor – Shades
  14. Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate – Hell, CA
  15. Cleanbreak – Coming Home

That is all for this list, but there is still plenty to come including the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums list.  That list is coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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Queensryche Scores Another Success With ‘Digital Noise Alliance’

Courtesy: Century Media

Early this month, veteran prog-metal band Queensryche released its latest album, Digital Noise Alliance to audiences. The band’s 15th album of original content (the band released its covers collection, Take Cover in 2007), it was released more than three and a half years after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Verdict and is the band’s fourth album released through Century Media Records.  The 11-song album is everything that the band’s established audiences have come to expect from the group, both musically and lyrically, with arrangements that throw back to the band’s early days and lyrical themes that are certain to leave people thinking throughout.  That is proven right from the record’s outset in the form of ‘In Extremis.’  The song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Nocturnal Light,’ which comes later in the album’s 55-minute run, is another example of how the album’s musical and lyrical content come together to make it an interesting presentation.  ‘Forest,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is yet another example of what makes Queensryche’s new album so intriguing.  It will also be examined later.  When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of that content makes the album overall another enjoyable addition to Queensryche’s catalog.

Digital Noise Alliance, the 15th new album from veteran prog-metal outfit Queensryche, is another presentation that audiences will agree is a strong new offering from the band.  Its appeal comes through its musical and lyrical content alike, as is evidenced right from the album’s outset in its opener, ‘In Extremis.’  The nearly five-minute composition boasts a musical arrangement that throws way back to the band’s early days, what with the cutting guitar riff and tight time keeping.  Front man Todd La Torre’s vocals are just as strong as ever here, too, continuing to sound so much like former front man Geoff Tate.  While the arrangement harkens back to days gone by from Queensryche, it still boasts its own identity that keeps it just as engaging and entertaining as the works from those days.

The heaviness and energy in the arrangement becomes especially interesting taking into consideration the theme at the center of the song’s lyrical content.  According to comments made by the band upon the single’s release, the song’s lyrics center on someone going through his/her last moments alive.  The band said here, “This song is about being on your deathbed surrounded by your loved ones. Clinging to the last sense available, letting them know you will still be hearing them after correspondence or perceived consciousness is visible.  Other conceptual metaphors flash in and out, taking note of a world that will not bend to accommodate such suffering, a universe of mockery and a universe void of such abilities.”  Considering this expansive explanation, the fire and energy exhibited in the song just does not seem to match, such a theme would typically be accompanied by an arrangement that is more schmaltzy and contemplative in its nature.  So to have that juxtaposition there makes for quite the interesting presentation.  It makes the song just one example of what makes Digital Noise Alliance so engaging and entertaining.  ‘Nocturnal Light’ is another example of the album’s overall strength.

‘Nocturnal Light’ presents its own unique arrangement at its foundation.  La Torre’s vocals once again take audiences back in time with their power.  At the same time, the overall instrumentation gives the song an even more intriguing identity.  That is because the verses can actually be somewhat compared to works from Tool, of all bands.  That might not be such a stretch, considering that so many audiences and critics alike consider Tool to be “dark prog.”  The chorus sections meanwhile are more along the lines of classic Queensryche with their melodic rock approach.  That overall approach and sound makes this song’s musical arrangement quite interesting in its own right in the bigger picture of this record.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s unique musical arrangement adds even more to the song’s overall presentation.  In the case of this song, it comes across (at least to this critic) as a commentary about someone who is his/her own worst enemy.  This is inferred early on in the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which La Torre sings, “What’s become of you/What’s become of me/And all we breathe/Cold soul/No visitors (in the chambers tonight)/Your soul to take in plain sight/No spoken word but always there/Don’t need no trigger to waste you away/Your words will fall/Casting memories of shade/These empty crowds and falling stars/And time and time again/Lost in emptiness/A victim of circumstance/You leave no stone.”  The seeming commentary continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Play the role/This masquerade/You speak your mind/Do as you’re told/No time to waste/In plain sight/Stand all alone/No breath of air/A broken sinner with a halo of gold/An open mind as the secrets unfold/The pendulum will swing tonight.”  That note of a broken sinner with a halo of gold especially points to the seeming theme.  It comes across as saying the person is imperfect, good and bad in one, but more good than bad.  The remaining content seems to contemplate overall that person’s overall persona.  Again, this is all just this critic’s own interpretation and hopefully is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  The seeming overall contemplative nature of the song’s lyrical theme is a good fit with its companion musical content, and the two halves together make this song yet another example of how the album’s musical and lyrical content come together to make it overall, another strong new entry from the band.

One more song that stands out in this record comes even later in the album’s run in the form of the nearly five-minute opus, ‘Forest.’  The song presents a musical arrangement whose subtle approach is just as unique as anything else in this record.  On the one hand, audiences can hear subtle influences of Pink Floyd in the light, semi-acoustic guitar line and equally gentle choral effects and drums.  On another hand, audiences familiar with the works of fellow prog-rock outfit Spock’s Beard can just as much make comparison to that band’s works, too.  To yet another extent, audiences familiar with Queensryche’s work can also make a subtle comparison to the band’s timeless hit single, ‘Silent Lucidity.’  The overall musical presentation is such a unique presentation that it becomes a work that cannot be ignored.

The musical content featured in this song is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content adds its own interest here, seemingly taking on the all-too familiar topic of someone who has lost someone close to him/her.  This is inferred right from the song’s opening verse and chorus, which state, “Leaves blow away/There they go/Please, won’t you stay?/Don’t you know?/I couldn’t miss you more/I can feel you all around/One more sign tonight/Make a sound or dim the lights/Help me find a way/Yesterday’s a memory/But it’s all I have today.”   The seeming theme continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Seasons they change/Nice and slow/Don’t you know/Tides rolling in/Ebb and flow/Can swallow you/Then let you go.”  From there, La Torre reprises the song’s chorus, again finding the song’s subject yearning for that apparently dearly departed person.  The verse meanwhile seems to find the subject seems to be thinking about the time that has passed since that person “went away.”  This overall topic, together with the song’s musical arrangement, makes for its own engaging presentation that will touch so many listeners.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes even clearer what makes Digital Noise Alliance such an enjoyable new offering from Queensryche.

Digital Noise Alliance, the latest studio offering from veteran prog-metal/rock band Queensryche, is another presentation that the band’s established audiences will enjoy.  More casual audiences will find it just as enjoyable.  That is due to its combination of musical and lyrical content, as is evidenced through the songs examined here.  When these songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Digital Noise Alliance a record that any Queensryche fan will agree is well worth hearing.

Digital Noise Alliance is available now through Century Media. More information on Queensryche’s new album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.queensrycheofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/queensryche

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.

Queensryche Announces New Album Details; Debuts Video For Album’s Lead Single; Announces Live Dates With Judas Priest

Courtesy: Century Media

Things are picking up for Queensryche.

The band recently announced it will release its latest album, Digital Noise Alliance Oct. 7 through Century Media. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘In Extremis’ Thursday.

The video is a familiar style presentation. It features the band performing its new single on a soundstage. The presentation is meant to give audiences a taste of what they can expect from the band live on stage. The song plays over the visualization.

The song’s musical arrangement is everything that audiences have come to expect from Queensryche throughout the band’s life. The trademark soaring vocals and semi-power metal riffs that take audiences back to the band’s early days are just as present as ever here.

The band talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“This song is about being on your deathbed surrounded by your loved ones,” the statement reads. “Clinging to the last sense available, letting them know you will still be hearing them after correspondence or perceived consciousness is visible. Other conceptual metaphors flash in and out, taking note of a world that will not bend to accommodate such suffering, a universe of mockery, and a universe void of such abilities.”

Queensryche is set to join Judas Priest on the road this fall in support of Digital Noise Alliance. Judas Priest’s upcoming tour is a new North American leg of its 50 Heavy Metal Years. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

QUEENSRYCHE Tour Dates:

Opening for Judas Priest

Oct. 13 Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale

Oct. 15 Albany, NY – MVP Arena

Oct. 16 Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall Fenway

Oct. 18 Uniondale, NY at Nassau Veterans

Oct. 19 Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Oct. 21 Kalamazoo, MI at Wings Event Center

Oct. 22 Detroit, MI at Masonic Temple Theatre

Oct. 24 Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center

Oct. 25 Waukegan, IL – Genesee Theatre

Oct. 27 Green Bay, WI – Resch Center Theater

Oct. 29 Moline, IL – TaxSlayer Center Moline

Oct. 30 Mankato, MN – Mayo Clinic Event Center

Nov. 01 Sioux City, IA – Tyson Events Center

Nov. 02 Rapid City, SD – The Monument

Nov. 07 Ontario, CA – Toyota Center

Nov. 08 Tucson, AZ – TCC Arena

Nov. 10 Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center

Nov. 12 Park City (Wichita),KS -Hartman Arena

Nov. 13 St. Charles, MO – The Family Arena

Nov. 15 Corbin, KY – The Corbin Arena

Nov. 17 Southaven, MS – Landers Center

Nov. 18 Baton Rouge, LA – Raising Canes River Center

Nov. 20 Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center

Nov. 22 San Antonio, TX – Tech Port Center & Arena

Nov. 23 San Antonio, TX – Tech Port Center & Arena

Nov. 25 Dallas, TX – The Factory – Deep Ellum

Nov. 26 Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street

Nov. 28 Edinburg, TX – Burt Ogden Arena

Nov. 29 Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall

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

Websitehttp://www.queensrycheofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/queensryche

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.

Judas Priest Announces New Dates For 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Judas Priest will return to America’s shores this fall to continue its “50 Heavy Metal Years Tour.”

The band will launch the next leg of its ongoing tour Oct. 13 in Wallingford, CT. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 29 in Houston, TX. It features performances in cities, such as Corbin, KY; Moline, IL and Loveland, CO.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Queensryche will serve as support for the latest leg of the tour.

FALL 2022 U.S Tour dates: 

October 13 in Wallingford, CT @ Toyota Oakdale
October 15th in Albany, NY @ MVP Arena
October 16 in Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall Fenway
October 18 in Uniondale, NY at Nassau Veterans
October 19 in Wilkes-Barre, PA @ Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
October 21 in Kalamazoo, MI at Wings Event Center
October 22 in Detroit, MI at Masonic Temple Theatre
October 24 in Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady Music Center
October 25 in Waukegan, IL @ Genesee Theatre
October 27 in Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center Theater
October 29 in Moline, IL @ TaxSlayer Center Moline
October 30 in Mankato, MN @ Mayo Clinic Event Center

November 1 in Sioux City, IA @ Tyson Events Center
November 2 in Rapid City, SD @ The Monument 
November 7 in Ontario, CA @ Toyota Center
November 8 in Tucson, AZ @ TCC Arena
November 10 in Loveland, CO @ Budweiser Events Center
November 12 in Park City (Wichita), KS @Hartman Arena
November 13 in St. Charles, MO @ The Family Arena
November 15 in Corbin, KY @ The Corbin Arena
November 17 in Southaven, MS @ Landers Center 
November 18 in Baton Rouge, LA @ Raising Canes River Center
November 20 in Oklahoma City, OK @ Paycom Center
November 22 & 23 in San Antonio, TX @ Tech Port Center & Arena
November 25 in Dallas, TX @ The Factory in Deep Ellum
November 26 in Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street
November 28 in Edinburg, TX @ Burt Ogden Arena
November 29 in Houston, TX @ 713 Music Hall 

More information about the band’s new live dates is available along with all of Judas Priest’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.JudasPriest.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/judaspriest

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

Monsters On The Mountain Festival Lineup Announced

Courtesy: Chummy Press

The Monsters On The Mountain Festival will return for its second year this summer and will feature a lineup consisting of some very well-known veteran acts.

This year’s festival is scheduled to take place Aug. 19-21 at The Gatlinburg Convention Center at 234 Historic Trail, Gatlinburg, TN. The festival’s lineup includes and is not limited to the likes of Queensryche, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Brother Cane.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below. The event will be hosted again by Eddie Trunk (VH1, Sirius XM) comedians Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine (former hosts of VH1’s That Metal Show), and famed radio personality Nikki Blakk.

Monsters on the Mountain 2022’s daily lineup:

Friday, August 19th

Cinderella’s Tom Keifer

Extreme

Yngwie Malmsteen

Quiet Riot

Richie Kotzen

Kip Winger

Autograph

Lillian Axe

Bad Marriage

Tango Down

Nerd Halen

Saturday, August 20th

Queensrÿche

Stryper

Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy

Dangerous Toys

Eclipse

John Corabi

Enuff Z’Nuff

Cold Sweat

Bad Marriage

Pyromania

Sunday, August 21st

Night Ranger

KIX

Firehouse

Nelson

Vixen

Brother Cane

Pat Travers

Crazy Lixx

SOTO/Bieler

Michael Sweet

The Hot Summers

Wild America

Shot of Poison

General admission three-day passes start at $349 plus fees. Single-day tickets start at $175 each for Friday and Saturday. Single-day tickets for Sunday start at $155. Tickets are available here.

More information on the Monsters on the Mountain festival is available along with all of its latest news at:

Website: https://monstersonthemountain.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/monsterscruise

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.

James LaBrie Debuts New Album’s Second Single, Video

Courtesy: InsideOut MUsic

Dream Theater front man James LaBrie gave audiences another preview of his new solo record this week.

LaBrie premiered his new single, ‘Give and Take’ and its video Wednesday. The song and its video are the second from LaBrie’s new solo album, Beautiful Shade of Grey, which is scheduled for release May 20 through InsideOut Music. LaBrie debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Devil In Drag‘ and its video

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Give and Take’ blends elements of LaBrie’s work with Dream Theater and the sounds of Queensryche, which bassist Paul Logue talked about in a prepared statement.

“Musically ‘Give & Take’ is a nice balance of Dream Theater, Eden’s Curse and a even little Queensryche thrown in for good measure,” Logue said. “The dark musical undertones allow James’ vocals to really shine whilst his lyrics take the listener on a journey through the classic tale of good versus evil.”

LaBrie said the lyrical theme featured in the new album delivers a socially conscious message.

“This track is a take on the coercive manipulation between the corporate elite and the proletariat class,” he said. “An atmospheric soundscape with beautiful feel and scope.”

The video for ‘Give and Take’ does well to illustrate the song’s message. An outstretched hand covered in hundred dollar bills, television monitors featuring the words: “Watch TV/No thought” and a screen with a person holding a megaphone make that clear. The new single plays over the visualization.

The track listing for Beautiful Shade of Grey is noted below.

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.Devil In Drag
2.SuperNova Girl
3.Give And Take
4.Sunset Ruin
5.Hit Me Like A Brick
6.Wildflower
7.Conscience Calling
8.What I Missed
9.Am I Right
10.Ramble On
11.Devil In Drag (Electric Version)

More information on James LaBrie’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://jameslabrie.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/officialjameslabrie

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/piratecjs

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.

Queensryche Tapped To Join Judas Priest Tour

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Queensryche will join Judas Priest next spring when it continues its “50 Heavy Metal Years Tour.”

The next leg of the tour, which previously saw Sabaton join Judas Priest as support, is scheduled to launch March 4 in Peoria, IL and to run through April 13 in Hamilton, Ontario, CA. Tickets are available here.

Queensryche talked about joining the tour in a prepared statement.

“We are very excited to be supporting the mighty Judas Priest in celebration of their 50th Anniversary Tour!,” the statement reads. “This is a wonderful pairing, and we look forward to bringing you all a truly eventful experience.”

Queensryche’s upcoming dates with Judas Priest are in support of its latest album, The Verdict (2019).

The bands’ upcoming tour schedule is noted below.

QUEENSRŸCHE TOUR DATES:

March 4 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center

March 6 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom

March 7 – West Valley City, UT – Maverik Center

March 9 – Everett, WA – Angel OF The Winds Arena 

March 10 – Portland, OR – Moda Center

March 12 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater – Oakland

March 13 – Las Vegas, NV – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood

March 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium

March 16 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre

March 18 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

March 20 – Cedar Park, TX – HEB Center Cedar Park

March 21 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Colikseum

March 23 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium 

March 25 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheater

March 27 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Civic Center Coliseum

March 29 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met

March 30 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center

April 2 – Mashantucket, CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater

April 4 – Lowell, MA – Tsongas Center At UMass Lowell

April 7 – Halifax, NS – Scotiabank Centre

April 10 – Quebec City, QC – Centre Videotron

April 11 – Laval, QC – Place Bell

April 13 – Hamilton, ONT – FirstOntario Centre

More information on Queensryche’s upcoming live dates with Judas Priest is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.queensrycheofficial.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/queensryche

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.

Lord’s New Record Is A Covers Compilation That Is Actually Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Dominus Records

Independent rock band Lord released its latest record this week.  Its new covers compilation, Undercovers Vol. 1 released Friday through Dominus Records.  The 23-song (yes, 23 songs) comes less than a year after the trio released its then latest EP, Chaos Raining, and approximately two years after the release of its then latest new album, Fallen Idols.  This latest compilation stands out from so many other compilations already released this year in part because of its featured songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The band’s take on the songs makes for its own share of interest and will be discussed a little later.  The songs’ sequencing puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation.  When this element is considered along with the other noted items, the record in whole proves that while it is largely a space filler between albums, is still a positive addition to Lord’s catalog.

Lord’s new covers compilation, Undercovers Vol. 1 is a positive new presentation from the longtime independent hard rock band.  The record’s appeal comes in large part through its songs.  The songs are important to note in that they are not just a bunch of songs that the band recorded specially for this compilation.  Rather, they are mostly covers that the band has recorded throughout its life and has only now made available together.  Simply put, they were brought together as a way to entertain the band’s fans in lieu of a live recording and even new live dates while promoters and venue heads decide their next steps for live music.  They are not just some random space-filler used to appease contractual obligations.

Bassist Andy Dowling explained the songs’ collection during a recent interview.

“Covers have been a big love of ours since the early days of Dungeon right up to and including now,” said Dowling. “Over the years in Lord these tracks have ended up on limited edition releases, bonus tracks in isolated parts of the world and other weird and wonderful places. These songs have been scattered over so many different places that even we struggle ourselves to remember where on earth all of these songs can be found.” 

“While bands around the world continue to navigate these uncertain times, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to release this collection of cover songs, as well as new recordings, to keep the LORD machine moving while we continue to write new music,” he added. 

Additionally, Dowling pointed out that two of the songs featured in the compilation —  Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’ and Judas Priest’s ‘Reckless’ – were the only songs specially recorded for the compilation.  Those two songs are only a small portion of the 23 (yes, 23) total songs featured in this recording, and are important because they are a highlight of the diversity in the collection.  The band also took on The Police (‘Message in a Bottle’) here, as well as songs from Bon Jovi, Helloween, Metallica, and Little River Band just to name a handful of other acts featured in the compilation.  The short and simple is that the bands covered here come from a wide range of genres.  From hard rock –Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Anthrax – to classic rock – Little River Band – to 80s hair rock – Bon Jovi – to prog – Queensryche, Symphony X – to mainstream pop and rock – The Police, Savage Garden – Lord takes on music from so many influences.  That diversity in the bands and music featured here helps to build the band’s reputation and at the same time, perhaps even introduce audiences to music to which they might not have otherwise listened.  If for no other reason, that diversity in the bands and songs will keep audiences engaged and entertained.  It is of course just one of the elements that make this recording so interesting.  The band’s performance of said songs adds to the record’s interest.

Lord’s take on The Police’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ is just one example of the importance of the band’s performances.  Lord’s take on the classic song is interesting in that while it stays largely true to its source material, it essentially amps up that original in a sort of 80s power metal style work.  That updated take — complete with machine gun-fast bass drum work, melodic guitar lines, and operatic vocals – shows that the song strangely enough works just as well in this case as in the original presentation.  It is not one of those woks that hits listeners in its first listen, either.  Rather, it will grow on listeners with each listening, highlighting its longevity.

The band’s take on a-ha’s ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’ is yet another example of the band’s performances here.  In the case of this performance, the band has opted more for an 80s hair metal style performance that makes for quite the contrast against a-ha’s keyboard-driven original composition.  There is the slightest touch of a power ballad early on in the original composition, what with the string arrangement, but that soon gives way to the band’s more familiar new wave approach, which is more present throughout the song.  Lord’s take on the song, as noted, is more of an 80s hair power ballad type work.  It gives a-ha’s original quite the unique new identity in this case with its amped up take on the song.  Where it ends up standing with listeners will be left for those audiences to decide.  That aside, it definitely makes for its own interest. 

W.A.S.P. is another of the bands whose work is covered in this compilation.  In this case, Lord took on the band’s hit song ‘Wild Child.’  In this case, the stylistic approach taken by Lord is largely the same as that of W.A.S.P.  The difference is that Lord’s cover is actually an improvement on the original.  It would seem here that is more due to the production.  The production makes the song sound so much fuller and richer here than the original.  It makes the song sound more modern with a throwback feel.  To that end, it is yet another example of the impact of the band’s performances here, and the importance thereof.  When it is considered along with the other performances noted here and the rest of the record’s featured performances, the whole of those performances makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  It is just one more example of what makes this compilation worth hearing.  The sequencing of the songs featured in this compilation rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Undercovers Vol. 1 is important to examine because of its role in the record’s general effect.  The record starts in contemplative fashion with its cover of Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’ but very quickly after, it picks up with its take of Iron Maiden’s ‘Judas Be My Guide.’  It is not even until the record reaches its midpoint in its take of Cutting Crew’s ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ that the album’s energy even remotely pulls back.  From that point on, the compilation’s energy remains relatively high, even as the band takes on what are some otherwise reserved songs.  Even in those cases, the band manages to amp up those songs, including their energies.  So overall, the sequencing ensures that the album’s energy remains relatively high throughout its 100-minute (one hour, 40 minute) run time.  That the record’s energy remains relatively high, and even gives a break point roughly halfway through ensures that the record will run fluidly throughout, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  When that certain engagement and entertainment is considered with the impact of the band’s unique performances and the variety of songs featured here, that whole makes the compilation overall, its own standout presentation.  Add in the fact that this compilation marks the first time that the band has ever united the previously recorded covers in one setting, and the compilation gains even more appeal.  It shows that this was not just some randomly recorded presentation used to appease contractual obligations.  Between this and everything else noted, the record in whole proves to be a covers collection that is actually worth hearing.

Lord’s new covers compilation Undercovers Vol. 1 is an interesting presentation that rockers and even pop music fans alike will find worth hearing at least once.  That is due in part to the songs featured in the recording.  The band does not just take on a bunch of hard rock and metal songs here, though there are a lot of those songs featured here.  The band also takes on songs from pop and pop rock acts, such as Savage Garden, The Police,  a-ha, and even Kylie Minogue.  That variety in itself makes for reason enough to hear this presentation.  That only two of the songs featured here were specially recorded for the compilation shows that this was not just some randomly thrown together presentation that was made to appease any contractual obligations for the band.  Rather, it was a way for the band to bring together so many of the covers that it has recorded over the course of its life.  That makes the presentation more special in itself.  The band’s performance of the featured covers makes for its own appeal.  That is because they give those originals their own unique identities from one to the next.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the compilation’s elements.  That is because it ensures the record’s pacing remains stable throughout while also constantly giving listeners something interesting rather than redundant.  Each item noted here is unquestionably important in its own way to the whole of the compilation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the record a work that despite being a covers compilation, still a presentation that is worth hearing, and at least once at that. Undercovers Vol. 1 is available now through Dominus Records.

More information on Undercovers Vol. 1 is available along with all of Lord’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.lord.net.au

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/lordofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/lordofficial

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.

Kenny Wilkerson “Gets Cooking” Raising Awareness About Autism

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Nova Rex bassist Kenny Wilkerson has launched a new effort to help raise money for a nonprofit agency that assists people who have autism.

Wilkerson recently released a new cookbook titled Rockin’ Recipes for Autism Volume 1. The 127-page book features recipes from well-known rock and metal artists and acts, such as Stone Sour, Ozzy Osbourne, and Queensryche.

A portion of proceeds from book sales will benefit the nonprofit agency We Rock For Autism. The organization, formed in March 2014, provides music therapy for those with autism, raises awareness about autism through concerts, and even provides sensory-friendly movie screenings for autistic audiences.

Outlets, such as Rachael Ray Magazine, Loudwire, and Autism Parenting Magazine have featured the recently released cookbook.

More information on Rockin’ Recipes for Autism Volume 1 is available at:

Website: http://www.rockinrecipesforautism.com

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

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

Iced Earth Announces Debut LP Re-Issue Date, Specs; Debuts Album’s Lead Single

Iced Earth is going back to where it all started.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The band announced Friday that it will re-issue its self-titled 1990 debut album Dec. 18 on CD and digital platforms. Famed producer ZEUSS (Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Queensryche) handled the album’s re-mastering and re-mixing.

A vinyl release will follow the re-issue’s CD and digital re-issue on Jan. 8 alongside a limited edition digipack re-issue. The re-issue is meant to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary. Pre-orders are open.

Guitarist Jon Schaffer said in a prepared statement, he was looking forward to the album’s re-issue.

“This 30 year old debut classic has been remixed and remastered from the original 2 inch tapes by Zeuss, and it sounds fantastic,” he said. “It has a modern touch and still retains the dynamics of the original release. This is a big step forward sonically and visually. We’re excited to have our exclusive artwork and blood red vinyl version at www.icedearthmerch.com.

In celebration of the album’s forthcoming re-issue, the band debuted the re-mastered take of the record’s lead single ‘Written on the Walls‘ Friday.

The album’s track listing is noted below.

Iced Earth (30th Anniversary Edition) Tracklisting:

1. Iced Earth (Remaster 2020)

2. Written On The Walls (Remaster 2020)

3. Colors (Remaster 2020)

4. Curse The Sky (Remaster 2020)

5. Life And Death (Remaster 2020)

6. Solitude (Remaster 2020)

7. Funeral (Remaster 2020)

8. When The Night Falls (Remaster 2020)

More information on Iced Earth’s forthcoming re-issue is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://icedearth.com

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

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