Sabaton’s Second EP Leaves Audiences Wanting For More

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton has been in the headlines quite a bit since last year.  The band released its latest album, The War to End All Wars in March and launched a tour in support of the record soon after.  A companion record to that album titled The Symphony to End All Wars followed two months after the original record’s release.  Later in 2022, the band also held its annual Sabaton Open Air festival, which featured the likes of Amaranthe, Hammerfall, and Nanowar of Steel this year.  Not long after that sadly, the band announced the festival would be the last at least for the time being.  It was also along that time the band released its first-ever EP, Weapons of the Modern Age.  That six-song record was for all intents and purposes a collection of singles the band has released from its catalog, save for its opener, ‘Father,’ which was a new song.  Now roughly four months after that record’s release, Sabaton has followed it up with the release of yet another EP Friday, titled Heroes of the Great War.

Heroes of the Great War, much like Weapons of the Modern Age is essentially a singles collection, save for one song, the new entry, ‘The First Soldier.’  That song will be addressed shortly.  The record’s availability is actually something of a problem for its presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s overall body is just as much of note as the other items listed and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered they make the EP an intriguing new presentation from Sabaton.

Heroes of the Great War, Sabaton’s second EP, is an intriguing new offering from the veteran power metal band.  It is a presentation worth hearing at least once.  That is due largely to its one new song, ‘The First Soldier.’  The EP’s opener it features the band’s trademark power metal approach as its foundation.  The arrangement in this case stands out because in this case, the arrangement is more akin to works from the likes of Sabaton’s fellow power metal stalwarts Trans-Siberian Orchestra than its heavier works.  That is evidenced through the balance of the keyboards and guitars alongside the vocals.  Of course, the stylistic approach and sound presented here is also akin to the sound of the finale from the band’s most recent album, The War to End All Wars, so it is not an entirely unfamiliar sound and style from the band.

The lyrical theme in this song adds to the interest because it brings forward another previously untold story of World War I.  In the case of this song, it centers on French soldier Albert Severin Roche.  His story is the stuff of movie scripts.  He was an unsuspecting hero for his nation, as he was considered too small to serve in the French army by its heads.  Despite a rough start to his military career, he went on to become quite decorated, capturing nearly 2,000 prisoners at only the rank of a second class soldier by war’s end.  For his work and having been injured in his battles against the enemy, he went on to become known as “The First Soldier” of France and received the Legion of Honor.  It is an outstanding story that adds even more interest to the history of World War I that is otherwise not told.  When this new story is considered along with the familiar and fully engaging and entertaining musical arrangement featured here, the whole makes the song another great new offering from Sabaton.

While the new single featured in this new EP is certain to engage and entertain audiences, the EP’s availability is somewhat problematic.  In researching the record’s availability, it looks to only be available digitally.  It is not listed through the likes of Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.  It is available digitally through Amazon music, but not as a physical single.  From Amazon Music to Apple Music to Spotify and YouTube, audiences can take in the collection through all of the major digital retailers, but not through any physical retailers.  Not everybody wants digital media, so regardless of who made the decision to release the EP this way, the choice can only serve to limit its reach considering there is still very much an audience that prefers the physical object to the digital.  Even with this in mind, this one negative is not enough to doom the EP.

Knowing the somewhat limited availability of Heroes of the Great War is not enough to doom the EP, there is still one more item not examine in its presentation.  That item in question is its overall body.  As noted, the only new song featured in this EP is ‘The First Soldier.’  The six remaining songs that make up the rest of the record’s body are previously released singles from the band’s three most recent albums, The Last Stand, The Great War, and The War To End All Wars.  Bassist and founding member Par Sundstrom said in a recent interview about this EP and its predecessor that the intent with the EPs (and the third coming record in the trilogy) was to bring together the band’s focus on the stories of World War I.  It and its current companion do exactly that, too.  The thing is considering that both EPs pull so much from The Great War, the reality is that the majority of that record is spread across these two presentations.  In reality it makes no sense to go that route considering all of this since the one album has all of the songs on these two EPs in one setting.  The same applies to the songs pulled from The War to End All Wars for this EP and its companion.  One cannot help but wonder why the band and/or label would spread the one album out into two separate EPs when it simply made more sense to have the entire album in one setting.  It really is something confusing.  It would have made much more sense to simply release the two new songs – ‘Father’ and ‘The First Soldier’ – with perhaps some previously unreleased b-sides from those albums’ sessions to justify both EPs.

On the other hand, in combining songs from the noted records in the presented fashions also can be argued to be giving audiences the best of both worlds so to speak.  To that end, that is correct.  This EP does bring together some of the biggest songs from the band’s most recent albums in one place, making for some efficiency so to speak.  At the same time though, it is still undeniable that the EP, in companion with Weapons of the Modern Age, still makes little sense considering that to get the whole effect, audiences would still have to go back and forth between the records to get the two records.  So in essence, it still points to the fact that there is little point to the presentation.  To that end, Heroes of the Great War is not necessarily a new release per se.  It is a presentation worth hearing, but once at best.

Heroes of the Great War, the new EP from Sabaton, is an intriguing new offering from the veteran power metal band.  Much like its current companion in the band’s planned trilogy of EPs, Weapons of the Modern Age, it presents one new single that is fully engaging and entertaining through its musical and lyrical content alike.  While that new track is a positive, the EP’s availability, which is apparently limited to digital only, is problematic.  That is because there are still audiences who prefer the physical object to the digital.  The rest of the songs featured in this EP pair with those in Weapons of the Modern Age to largely flesh out some of the band’s most recent albums.  Bringing those records together is good because it does that.  At the same time when one considers that Weapons of the Modern Age also lifts liberally from The War to End All Wars (the band’s latest album) audiences are getting in the two EPs, a large portion of two of the band’s three most recent albums in separate settings. That actually negates the positive because it requires audiences who want to take in the songs to switch back and forth between the EPs where they could otherwise just take in the songs in one setting each in their respective albums.  To that end, the one new song featured in this the band’s latest EP a presentation that is worth hearing once, but leaves audiences wanting for so much more.

In other news, Sabaton recently announced new dates across its homeland of Sweden and re-scheduled dates for the European leg of its “The Tour To End All Tours,” which is in support of The War to End All Wars. The full list of dates is noted below:

Den Stora Sverigeturen 2023

27.01. SE Övertorneå, Sporthallen (A-Hallen) 

28.01. SE Kiruna, Arena Arctica 

31.01. SE Mora, Idre Fjäll Arena 

02.02. SE Visby, ICA Maxi Arena 

04.02. SE Lindesberg, Lindesberg Arena 

05.02. SE Uddevalla, Agnebergshallen 

06.02. SE Arvika, Parkhallen Folkets Hus 

09.02. SE Nyköping, Rosvalla Arena (A-Hallen) 

10.02. SE Alingsås, Estrad 

11.02. SE Västerås, Västerås Arena 

13.02. SE Karlskrona, Brinova Arena 

14.02. SE Trelleborg, Söderslättshallen 

15.02. SE Vara, Sparbanken Blackbox 

17.02. SE Kungsbacka, Tjolöholms Slott 

18.02. SE Motala, Lokverkstan 

19.02. SE Göteborg, Gothenburg Film Studios 

21.02. SE Växjö, Fortnox Arena 

23.02. SE Ystad, Ystad Arena 

24.02. SE Eksjö, Olsbergs Aren 

25.02. SE Lund, Sparbanken Skåne Arena 

The Tour To End All Tours 2023 

presented by Cobra Agency

14.04. UK Leeds – First Direct Arena 

15.04 UK London – OVO Arena Wembley 

16.04. UK Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena 

18.04. UK Glasgow – OVO Hydro 

21.04. FR Paris – Zenith 

22.04. DE Frankfurt – Festhalle 

24.04. DE Hamburg – Barclays Arena 

25.04. LU Esch / Alzette – Rockhal 

28.04. SE Stockholm – Avicii Arena 

29.04. NO Oslo – Spektrum 

30.04. DK Copenhagen – Royal Arena 

02.05. DE Hannover – ZAG Arena 

03.05. NL Amsterdam – Ziggo Dome 

05.05. DE Berlin – Mercedes Benz Arena 

06.05. DE Leipzig – Quarterback Immobilien Arena 

07.05. AT Vienna – Stadthalle 

09.05. PL Lodz – Atlas Arena 

10.05. CZ Ostrava – Arena Ostrava 

12.05. DE Cologne – Lanxess Arena

13.05. BE Antwerp – Sportpaleis 

15.05. DE Munich – Olympiahalle 

18.05. EE Tallinn – Saku Arena 

19.05. FI Helsinki – Ice Hall 

20.05. FI Kuopio – Kuopio Hall 

Heroes of the Great War is available now.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://sabaton.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sabaton

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

Albums From Across The Musical Universe Proved Themselves Among 2022’s Top New Albums

Courtesy: C Squared PR

As the final hours of 2022 tick away and all eyes and hopes look forward to 2023, there is still a little bit of time to look back on the year that is now ending in regards to the year’s top new albums.  This year produced so many impressive new albums across the musical universe, from rock to rap to jazz, blues, classical, world, and even family music, as Phil’s Picks has shown.  Looking at all of those genres, many of them have produced records that are clearly among the best of the best, and they are presented here in the last of this year’s new music lists.

This year’s list of the year’s top new albums includes Machine Head’s new album, Of Kingdom and Crown, percussionist Tom Collier’s new album, The Color of Wood, and even Pimps of Joytime’s new album, Reachin’ Up among so many others.  Between these and all of the other albums included in this final music list for the year, it is clear that this year’s overall field of new music was rich with enjoyable content.  It made creating this list so difficult, but the list was created, nonetheless.

As with each Phil’s Picks list, this one consists of the year’s top 10 new albums and five additional honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  The top 10 records are the best of the best and the honorable mentions are records that are appealing in their own right and deserving of attention, too, thus their inclusion here.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Albums of the Year.

PHIL’S PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Bloodywood – Rakshak
  2. Danilo Perez – Crisalida
  3. Derek Sherinian – Vortex
  4. Machine Head – Of Kingdom and Crown
  5. Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music – Variants of Vibe
  6. Devin Townsend – Light Work
  7. Joe Satriani – Elephants of Mars
  8. Sabaton – The Symphony to End All Wars
  9. Pimps of Joytime – Reachin’ Up
  10. Tom Collier – The Color of Wood
  11. The Jorgensens – Americana Soul
  12. Mark Tremonti – Tremonti Sings Sinatra
  13. Playing For Change Band – The Real Revolution
  14. Old Crow Medicine Show – Paint The Town
  15. Bobby Watson – Back Home in Kansas City

That’s it for this year’s new music year-enders.  There is still time for at least a couple of TV pieces to go through before the year officially ends, so stay tuned!

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

Hard Rock, Metal Fans Had A Lot To Like In 2022

Courtesy: C Squared PR

The hard rock and metal community had another strong year in 2022, with dozens of acts releasing new studio recordings.  From established acts to some up-and-comers to even some fledgling acts, bands across the hard rock and metal community offered audiences something to appreciate.  That included new power metal, death metal, nu-metal and general hard rock records.  In other words, 2022 was a very good year for the hard rock and metal community, and Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums list illustrates that clearly.

This year’s list of top new hard rock and metal albums runs across the community with new albums from the likes of Slipknot, Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne, Sabaton, and even Amon Amarth.  Topping this year’s list is the debut album from fledgling nu-metal band Bloodywood.  The band has, in the past few years, made a heck of a name for itself through its music and uplifting lyrical themes.  The band’s star has continued to rise ever since it released its debut album, Rakshak early this year, too.  Joining Bloodywood and the other noted bands on this year’s list are also the likes of Machine Head, Master Boot Record, and Lamb of God, too.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features Phil’s Picks’ top 10 new albums in the given category and five honorable mention titles.  Those honorable mention titles are no less impactful than the top 10 albums.  It is just that hard to really find just 10 records worth noting.  There are that many that are so good.  So, without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

PHILS PICKS 2022 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. Bloodywood – Rakshak
  2. Sabaton – The War to End All Wars
  3. Sabaton – The Symphony to End All Wars
  4. Machine Head – Of Kingdom and Crown
  5. Slipknot – The End, So Far
  6. Lamb of God – Omens
  7. Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army
  8. Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying & The Dead
  9. Arch Enemy – Deceivers
  10. Ozzy Osbourne – Patient #9
  11. Grave Digger – Symbol of Eternity
  12. Master Boot Record – Personal Computer
  13. Stratovarius – Survive
  14. Artifas – Reflections
  15. Stone Broken – Revelation

That’s it for this year’s list, but there is still plenty more to come between today and tomorrow with lists for top new Family Music, World Music, Top New Independent Albums and Top New Overall Albums.  Somehow Phil’s Picks also has to get in lists for new TV and movie releases, too by midnight Saturday.  Stay tuned!

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

‘Pirates’ Is A Great Musical Treasure From Visions Of Atlantis

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Power metal band Visions of Atlantis released its latest album, Pirates, this year.  Released May 13 through Napalm Records, the 12-song offering came three years after the release of its then latest album, Wanderers (2019).  The record’s musical and lyrical content offers something to like from beginning to end.  That is evidenced in part through one of its early entries, ‘Master The Hurricane.’  One of the album’s singles, it will be discussed shortly.  ‘Legion of the Seas,’ another of the record’s singles and one of its later entries, is another example of the record’s strength.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Mercy,’ which comes even later, is yet another notable addition to the album, showing what makes the record’s overall content engaging and entertaining.  It will also be discussed later.  When it and the other songs noted here are considered together, the whole makes Pirates a record that is full of musical booty.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Pirates, the latest entry from Visions of Atlantis, is another successful offering from the veteran power metal band that will appeal to the band’s established audiences just as much as any power metal fan.  That is evidenced in part through the early entry, ‘Master The Hurricane.’  The song’s musical arrangement immediately grips audiences with its stylistic comparison to works from both Epica and Sabaton.  The strings, the choral style vocals, and the rock element all come together to make that clear, engaging, and entertaining approach and sound.  The impact of the arrangement works with the song’s lyrical theme to make for even more engagement.

On the surface, the song’s lyrical theme sounds like it fits right in with the album’s title about everyone’s beloved sea-faring favorites.  On a deeper level though, the lyrical theme is much more than that.  It is a presentation that finds the song’s subject wondering how he/she will get through life’s most difficult times (IE the hurricane).  This is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which finds the song’s subject stating, “Walking the meadows of bliss/And flowers of love/Holding the moments of peace I cherish all of/Forgotten/Forsaken/I lost the way to my creek/Awaken/Enlighten/Where is the home that I seek?/Feeling the rays of sun/They’re fading away/Watching the world come undone/Salvation begins as you pray/Raging storms/Bring the rain/How can I master the hurricane/Solid stone turns to clay/I feel the way to my cove will fade away.”  All of the nautical references, again, put the song in the vein of all the sea-faring themes throughout the album, but again, what audiences get here is the story of someone seeing things going from good to far from it and wondering how he or she will get through that storm.  The rumination continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Braving the fires of hate and embers of scorn/Razing the towns where my pain’s engraved in the walls.”  From there a voice seemingly speaks to the subject, stating, “What is the trigger for all your fears/There is a secret I need to hear/How can you damage what you hold dear/I think I know/The answer is fear/You find the reason for all your pain/The relentless voice that is waging war in your head/And here you’re alone/Facing the storm/So please let it go.”  This is that reminder that the storm we all face is often brought on by us and that the way to navigate it is to let go of what is causing it to happen.  This uplifting overall message, paired with the song’s equally infectious musical arrangement makes the whole a strong example of what makes Pirates a welcome new offering from Visions of Atlantis.

‘Master The Hurricane’ is just one of the songs that serves to show Pirates’ strengths.  ‘Legion of the Seas’ is another prime example of what the record has to offer.  The musical arrangement featured in ‘Legion of the Seas’ is more familiar symphonic power metal for which the band has come to be known through its life.  The dual vocals pair with the noted symphonic element and heavier leanings to make the arrangement in whole such an enjoyable presentation.  It is just part of what makes this song notable.  The song’s lyrical content makes for its own share of interest.

On the surface, the song comes across lyrically as just a story about being at sea, taking the risk of the unknown journey.  The picture that the band paints through its lyrical content is o rich and vivid.  On a deeper level though (and this is just this critic’s interpretation), the lyrical theme is about so much more than that.  Rather, the theme is more of an allegory.  That is inferred through the mention in the song’s lead verse, of staying the course and having no remorse.  The second verse makes that seeming allegorical message even clearer as it states, “The journey’s now or never/Embrace your soul forever/You feel alive when cresting the waves/Just get yourself together/The crying times are over/And show the world the fine edge of your blade.”  That mention of the crying times are over and the journey being now or never comes across as a message of encouragement.  It tells listeners that they need to just get out and take risks in life, get past the bad times and just go for it.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  If in fact that is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, then it is a wonderful, creative way for the band to deliver such an uplifting message.  That and the song’s musical arrangement collectively make the song overall yet another strong example of what makes Pirates worth hearing.  ‘Mercy’ is yet another mark of the album’s strength.

‘Mercy’ is another notable addition to Pirates in part because of its musical arrangement, which offers audiences more of the symphonic power metal that makes up the record’s body.  The subtle stylistic variance in the arrangement from its counterparts keep it original and unique from those works.  To that end, it does just enough to make it just as enjoyable as the rest of the album’s arrangements.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content makes for its own share of engagement.  That is because again, it comes across as being so allegorical in nature.  On the surface, the content comes across as being a story about a pirate leader learning to lean more on a quality of mercy than just sheer brutality in everything.  This as the pirate leader learns of his own crew’s intent to betray him.  He sings of sharpening his blade and wanting to bring doom to them.  However as the song progresses, the crew prays for mercy and states in the chorus that “There is more power in pity than courage in hate.” That single line is in itself so powerful.  It comes across as that reminder that kindness and mercy is more powerful than the hate that we allow to fester in our minds.  Again, this is such a creative way to seemingly deliver such a message.  The seeming message even continues as the pirate captain sings late in the song, “Sailing across the sea/My heart as deep as the ocean/And the fire inside/has opened my eyes/I mist belong to the wise.”  That understanding that he must belong to the wise is that restatement of needing clarity of mind and heart.  It makes the song’s theme all the more powerful and resonant.  The final verse adds even more as the captain sings, “The day that I give in to mercy/I give up the violence that evil adores/The day that my burden is drowning/Over and over and over/The waves kiss the shores/The day that I let go of struggle/The day I’m completing the cycle.”  Once again, here is that realization of the power of wisdom and control versus hatred and anger.  It is, overall, such a moving message that the band has incorporated into the song, and in such creative fashion once more.  When this unique story and delivery is considered along with the song’s equally enjoyable musical arrangement, the whole makes fully clear why it is another important addition to Pirates’ body.  When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audiences as it will to power metal and hard rock fans alike.

Pirates, the latest studio offering from Visions of Atlantis, is a successful new offering from the veteran power metal band.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The songs examined here make that fully clear.  Between the unique power metal musical arrangements and the unique lyrical content that delivers messages that will resonate with plenty of audiences, the whole makes for so much that audiences will appreciate.  It makes the album a wonderful musical treasure not just for Visions of Atlantis’ fans, but for power metal and hard rock fans alike.

Pirates is available now through Napalm Records. More information on Visions Of Atlantis’ new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.visionsofatlantis.at

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial

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.

Visions Of Atlantis Debuts New Single, ‘Master The Hurricane,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Visions of Atlantis dropped its latest album, Pirates Friday through Napalm Records, but not before releasing one more single from the brand new album Wednesday.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Master The Hurricane‘ Wednesday, along with its companion video. The premiere of the new single follows those of the album’s other singles, ‘Melancholy Angel‘ and ‘Legion of the Seas.’ All of the familiar power metal leanings presented in those singles is just as evident here, though the song still boasts its own identity separate from those songs and the album’s other entries. The comparisons to works from the likes of Sabaton, Helion Prime, and Epica are just as easy to make in this case as in the other songs.

The video featured with the song presents the band aboard a ship trying to navigate an old pirate ship through a very dangerous storm. Vocalist Michele Guaitol sees the whole thing happen as an unidentified figure holds a gem in hand that acts like a crystal ball, showing the story happen.

Once again, no information was provided in the press release announcing the debut of the band’s new single and video. No lyrics are provided with the video, either.

Pirates‘ track listing and available platforms are noted below.

Pirates tracklist:
1. Pirates will Return
2. Melancholy Angel
3. Master the Hurricane
4. Clocks
5. Freedom
6. Legion of the Seas
7. Wild Elysium
8. Darkness Inside
9. In my World
10. Mercy
11. Heal the Scars
12. I will be Gone


Pirates is available in the following formats:

  • Wooden Deluxe Box (incl. digisleeve, flag, hip flask, signed autograph card) – strictly limited to 300
  • Canvas (100x50cm) + CD Digisleeve – strictly limited to 100
  • 2 LP Gatefold GLOW IN THE DARK – strictly limited to 300
  • 2 LP Gatefold Black
  • CD Digisleeve
  • Digital Album

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

Websitehttps://www.visionsofatlantis.at

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial

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.

‘The Symphony To End All Wars’ Is A Powerful Companion Piece To Sabaton’s Latest LP

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Only weeks after releasing its latest album, The War to End All Wars, Sabaton has dropped a companion record of sorts in the form of The Symphony To End All Wars.  The full-on orchestral/instrumental record released Friday through Nuclear Blast Records, and is a thoroughly impressive new presentation that is certain to bring together fans of Sabaton, metal, and classical music.  That is due in large part to the fact that it is a full-on orchestral presentation.  This will be addressed shortly.  The record’s production is without a doubt important to its presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make The Symphony To End All Wars one of the year’s best new albums so far.

Sabaton’s newly released companion record to The War To End All Wars, The Symphony To End All Wars is a proof positive that music truly is the universal language.  It is a presentation that will bring together fans of not only the band, but power metal, metal in general, and classical music.  That is due in no small part to the approach taken to the record.  Instead of being the full-on power metal presentation that is its counterpart, this record is instead, a full-on orchestral/instrumental presentation. Gone are the powerhouse guitar solos and the vocals. Gone are the pounding drums and bass. In their place are full orchestra arrangements of the songs featured in The War To End All Wars complete with all the bombast of the original compositions and then some.  Each arrangement gives the songs featured in The War To End All Wars its own unique new identity while still staying true to the source material.  As a matter of fact, the arrangements not only give the songs new identities, but improve exponentially on what was already great.  It makes the overall presentation feel like something that would be a perfect partner to a bigger, cinematic event, whether it be a documentary style work or maybe even a historical fiction.  It is simply that powerful, engaging and entertaining.

While the general presentation of The Symphony To End All Wars forms a solid foundation for the record, it is just part of what makes it so successful. The record’s production builds on that foundation and makes for even more enjoyment.  From one song to the next, the production ensures such a powerful effect for audiences.  From the subtleties of the marimba in some of the songs, to the choral backing in others, to the use of the strings, horns, and woodwinds, every single performer featured in each song is highlighted just right.  No one musician and performer overpowers his or her counterparts.  Each part gets its own attention, with the result that, again, the whole thing creates such a moving cinematic feel.  In the same vein, it makes a person imagine seeing and hearing all of this live on stage.  Yes, that is a direct hint to Sabaton and everyone at Nuclear Blast Records.  The effect of the production is that immersive and powerful.  Keeping that in mind, the content featured in this record and its production go a long way toward making it a memorable presentation. 

The record’s sequencing rounds out the most important of the album’s elements.  That is because the sequencing keeps the original album’s track listing in order.  What this means is that audiences get the same experience here as in the original album.  The experience is that of what really comes across as a concept record of sorts, even though it isn’t.  It tells a story from beginning to end, of the war’s beginning, things that happened along the way, and the end.  Add in that the experience is presented in a full orchestral fashion, and it makes the album’s sequencing that much more important.  To that end, the sequencing brings everything full circle and completes the record’s presentation.  The end result is a record that is among the best of the year’s new albums in general.

Sabaton’s new album, The Symphony To End All Wars, is a not so surprisingly engaging and entertaining offering from the veteran power metal band.  It succeeds for so many reasons, not the least of which is its general presentation.  The full-on orchestral/instrumental approach taken here gives each of the songs from The War To End All Wars wholly new identities while staying true to its source material.  The arrangements take the source material and improve upon it from one song to the next.  The production that went into each arrangement builds on the success that the arrangements themselves create.  It ensures that each musician’s performance compliments those of his and her counterparts, further engaging and entertaining audiences.  The record’s sequencing ensures audiences get to hear the album in the same order in this case as in its counterpart.  This further ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment because it takes audiences on the same musical journey.  Each item examined is important in its own right to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make The Symphony To End All Wars easily one of the best of this year’s new albums.

The Symphony To End All Wars is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on Sabaton’s new album re-issue and upcoming tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

To keep up with the latest 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.

Battle Born Debuts ‘Bring The Metal Back’ Video

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Power metal band Battle Born premiered its new single and video this week.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Bring The Metal Back‘ and its video Friday. The single is featured in the new re-issue of its debut, self-titled EP, which arrived Friday through Prosthetic Records. The band originally released the EP independently in 2020. The re-issue features the bonus track, ‘Hammer of Might.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Bring The Metal Back’ is a driving composition that will appeal to any power metal fan. Its rapid fire drumming and guitar riffs pair with the equally powerful vocals to make it comparable to works from the likes of Dragonforce, Sabaton, and Helion Prime.

The song’s lyrical theme is clearly a promotion of heavy metal. It is very much in the vein of so many classic power metal songs from days gone by, ensuring even more, its appeal among so many metal purists.

Courtesy Prosthetic Records

In other news, Battle Born launched a European tour in support of its newly re-issued EP Friday. The tour is scheduled to run through June 5 in Banstaple, UK. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

BATTLE BORN‘s UK Ride for Heavy Metal tour dates:
6 May – Firehouse – Southampton
7 May – Anvil Rockbar – Bournemouth
20 May – New Cross Inn – London
27 May – Frog and Fiddle – Cheltenham
29 May – The Bullingdon – Oxford
31 May – Corporation – Sheffield
1 June – Ivory Blacks – Glasgow
2 June – Satans Hollow – Manchester
3 June – The Station – Cannock
4 June – Underground – Plymouth
5 June – Golden Lion – Banstaple

More information on Battle Born’s new record deal, EP re-issue, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://battlebornuk.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/battlebornuk

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

Sabaton Announces Details For New LP’s Re-Issue

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton is set to re-issue its latest album less than two months after its initial release.

The band is scheduled to release The Symphony To End All Wars May 6 through Nuclear Blast Records. The record features symphonic takes of each of the songs from the band’s latest album, The War to End All Wars.

The Symphony to End All Wars will release on on two separate vinyl pressings: a black, single LP in gatefold and Winter Wind single LP gatefold. These pressings are limited to a total of 1,500 units. It will also release digitally.

Along with the forthcoming symphonic take of the album, the band has also released a special expanded history edition that features spoken historical background on each song. The expanded version is available to stream here.

In other news, Sabaton is scheduled to launch a tour in support of its new album Sept. 15 in Seattle, WA. The tour’s North American leg is scheduled to run through Oct. 23 in New York, NY and includes performances scheduled in cities, such as Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO and Cincinnati, OH.

Following some down time at the first leg’s finale, the band will launch the tour’s European leg April 14, 2023 in Leeds, UK. The tour is scheduled to run through May 20 in Kuopio, Finland. It includes performances across Europe in cities, such as Oslo, Norway; Paris, France and Hannover, Germany.

The band’s full tour schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

THE TOUR TO END ALL TOURS – NORTH AMERICA 2022:

September

15  Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA 

16  Roseland Theater, Portland, OR 

17  Roseland Theater, Portland, OR 

19  Revolution Concert House, Boise, ID 

21  Fox Theater, Oakland, CA 

23  Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA 

24  Arizona Federal Theatre, Phoenix, AZ 

25  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

27  The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT 

28  Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO 

30  South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

October

1   Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX 

3   Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN 

4   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA 

6   The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD 

8   The Andrew J Brady Music Center, Cincinnati, OH 

10 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI 

11 GLC Live at 20 Monroe, Grand Rapids, MI 

13 The Fillmore, Minneapolis, MN 

15 Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 

17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA 

18 The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA 

21 MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Boston, MA 

22 Place Bell, Montreal, QC 

23 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY

THE TOUR TO END ALL TOURS – 2023

presented by Cobra Agency

14.04.             UK      Leeds – First Direct Arena

15.04              UK      London – The SSE Arena Wembley

16.04.             UK      Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena

18.04.             UK      Glasgow – The SSE Hydro

21.04.             FR       Paris – Zenith

24.04.             DE      Hamburg – Barclays Arena

25.04.             LU       Esch / Alzette – Rockhal

28.04.             SE       Stockholm – Avicii Arena

29.04.             NO      Oslo – Spektrum

30.04.             DK      Copenhagen – Royal Arena

02.05.             DE      Hannover – ZAG Arena

03.05.             NL      Amsterdam – Ziggo Dome

05.05.             DE      Berlin – Mercedes Benz Arena

06.05.             DE      Leipzig – Quarterback Immobilien Arena

07.05.            AT      Vienna – Stadthalle

12.05.             DE      Cologne – Lanxess Arena

13.05.             BE      Antwerp – Sportpaleis

15.05.             DE      Munich – Olympiahalle

18.05.             EE      Tallinn – Saku Arena

19.05.             FI        Helsinki – Ice Hall

20.05.             FI        Kuopio – Kuopio Hall

More information on Sabaton’s new album re-issue and upcoming tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

To keep up with the latest 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.

Sabaton’s New LP Gets Strong Start On World Charts; Band Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records/Herfitz PR

Sabaton’s new album, The War To End All Wars received positive results in its first week.

The band’s new album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Current Rock Albums and its Current Hard Rock Albums charts. Additionally, it took the top spot in Germany and Sweden. It debuted at #2in Norway and on the UK Rock & Metal Chart.

In other news, Sabaton has announced a 25-date tour in support of its new album. The fall tour is scheduled to launch Sept. 15 in Seattle, WA and to run through Oct. 23 in New York, New York. The band’s Nuclear Blast Record label mate, Epica, will serve as support for the tour.

Tickets for the tour go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday local time. They will be available here.

Par Sundstrom, Sabaton bassist, talked about the upcoming tour in a prepared statement.

“We’re all looking forward to this tour,” said Sundström.  “It will have been three years since we’ve brought our headline show to America, so we are more ready than ever.  And, with the release of our new album, we now have a vault full of new songs to play.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER

15  Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA 

16  Roseland Theater, Portland, OR 

17  Roseland Theater, Portland, OR 

19  Revolution Concert House, Boise, ID 

21  Fox Theater, Oakland, CA 

23  Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA 

24  Arizona Federal Theatre, Phoenix, AZ 

25  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

27  The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT 

28  Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO 

30  South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

OCTOBER

1   Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX 

3   Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN 

4   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA 

6   The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD 

8   The Andrew J Brady Music Center, Cincinnati, OH 

10 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI 

11 GLC Live at 20 Monroe, Grand Rapids, MI 

13 The Fillmore, Minneapolis, MN 

15 Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 

17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA 

18 The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA 

21 MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Boston, MA 

22 Place Bell, Montreal, QC 

23 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY

The War To End All Wars is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on Sabaton’s new album announcement is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

To keep up with the latest 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.

Visions Of Atlantis Announces New Album Specs; Debuts Lead Single’s Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Power metal band Visions of Atlantis will release its next album this spring.

The band announced Monday, it will release its eighth album, Pirates, May 13 through Napalm Records. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Legion of the Seas’ the same day.

The video features the band, dressed as pirates, performing its new single on a sound stage. Meanwhile the story of a pair of pirates plays out, with one of the men having a less than happy ending. All of this plays out as the band’s new single plays over the visualization.

The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single will appeal to any power metal fan. The control and harmonies in the vocals pair well with the instrumentation, which features a stirring string arrangement at its base. The guitars and drums pair with the strings to make the overall arrangement comparable to works from Helion Prime and other similar power metal acts. Audiences could even make comparisons to works from Sabaton to a lesser degree.

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

“‘Legion of the Seas’ is a statement song that embodies the mindset we carry throughout the entire record,” the statement reads. “No matter what we are facing, we remain the masters of ourselves and our lives. We are delighted to welcome the listeners on board of this new age of Visions of Atlantis with this powerful video, for one of the heaviest songs of the record. Acting scenes meet a fiery band performance, all in a very cinematic way, conveying our universe the best way.”

Visions of Atlantis is on tour with Dragonforce. The bands’ current tour schedule is noted below.

Mar. 11, 2022 – Seattle, WA – Neptune *
Mar. 13, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom *
Mar. 15, 2022 – Calgary, AB – Palace Theater *
Mar. 16, 2022 – Edmonton, AB – Union Hall *
Mar. 18, 2022 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory *
Mar. 19, 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex *
Mar. 20, 2022 – Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
Mar. 22, 2022 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
Mar. 23, 2022 – St. Louis, MO – Red Flag
Mar. 24, 2022 – Milwaukee, WI – Rave II
Mar. 25, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Mar. 26, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Mar. 27, 2022 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Mar. 29, 2022 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s
Mar. 30, 2022 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
Mar. 31, 2022 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
Apr. 1, 2022 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
Apr. 2, 2022 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Apr. 3, 2022 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Apr. 5, 2022 – Reading, PA – Reverb
Apr. 6, 2022 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
Apr. 7, 2022 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Apr. 8, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Roxian Theater
Apr. 9, 2022 – Greensboro, NC – Arizona Petes
Apr. 10, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Heaven)
Apr. 12, 2022 – Tampa, FL – Orpheum
Apr. 13, 2022 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Apr. 15, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
Apr. 16, 2022 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Apr. 17, 2022 – Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
Apr. 19, 2022 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
Apr. 20, 2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Apr. 22, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 23, 2022 – Berkeley, CA – UC Theater

* = without Firewind

Pirates‘ track listing and available platforms are noted below.

Pirates tracklist:
1. Pirates will Return
2. Melancholy Angel
3. Master the Hurricane
4. Clocks
5. Freedom
6. Legion of the Seas
7. Wild Elysium
8. Darkness Inside
9. In my World
10. Mercy
11. Heal the Scars
12. I will be Gone


Pirates will be available in the following formats:

  • Wooden Deluxe Box (incl. digisleeve, flag, hip flask, signed autograph card) – strictly limited to 300
  • Canvas (100x50cm) + CD Digisleeve – strictly limited to 100
  • 2 LP Gatefold GLOW IN THE DARK – strictly limited to 300
  • 2 LP Gatefold Black
  • CD Digisleeve
  • Digital Album

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

Website: https://www.visionsofatlantis.at

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

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.