Motorhead’s Latest Live Recording Will Make Lots Of Noise Among The Band’s Most Devoted Audiences

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music/Motorhead Music

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic slowly continues to decrease and live shows   continue to make their return just as gradually, some bands are starting to announce their returns to the road. Others meanwhile continue to wait and see how things go or continue work on new studio material. Others still have simply been doing their part to give audiences their live fix with new live recordings. Motorhead fits into that latter group.  The band is scheduled to release its 14th (yes 14th) live recording Friday through Silver Linings Music, which also handles records for the band’s fellow British heavy metal act Saxon.  The recording, Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin, is a 15-song concert that was originally captured Dec. 5, 2012 at the Berlin Velodrome in Berlin, Germany.  It is a presentation that will appeal primarily to Motorhead’s most devoted audiences.  That is proven in part through the recording’s set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of the set list adds to its appeal, to a point.  It will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin.  All things considered, they make this latest of Motorhead’s many live recordings another presentation that will appeal to the band’s most devoted audiences.

Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin is an intriguing new offering from Motorhead.  It is a presentation that will appeal largely to the most devoted of the band’s audiences.  That is due in part to its featured set list.  The set list runs 15 songs deep and pulls from much of the band’s early catalog.  It is the same set list that the band performed for much of its shows on its Kings of the Road Tour, which was ironically in support of Motorhead’s then latest album, 2010’s The World is Yours.  Only one song featured in the set list – ‘I Know How to Die’ – is from that album.  The other songs featured in the set list reach farther back.  That includes going all the way back to the band’s 1979 sophomore album Overkill and all the way up to 1992 album, March or Die.  Given, four albums from that stretch are omitted here – Motorhead (1977), On Parole (1979), Iron Fist (1982), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987) – but that still does not matter.  That the band would treat audiences to so music from nine of its albums covering such a rich portion of its catalog is something special.  Add in a guitar solo that the band dubbed ‘String Theory’ that sounds like it belongs on a Pink Floyd record – which is quite a way to break up the otherwise nonstop energy in this set list – and the noted audiences get a set list that forms a solid starting  point for the recording. The overall set list is anything but unfamiliar.  Much of the set list featured here is composed of songs featured in many of the band’s existing live recordings.  That aside, longtime fans will still enjoy it.  The band’s performance of the set list adds its own touch to the presentation here.

The performance of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell, and Mikkey Dee throughout the course of its performance here is notable because of its role in keeping audiences engaged and entertained.  As has already been noted, the concert, for the most part, keeps the energy high.  Even in more laid back moments, such as in ‘Metropolis,’ and ‘You Better Run,’ the band still manages to keep the energy flowing through the slower but still heavy arrangements.  Campbell works his way through each song expertly, complimenting Dee’s drumming and Kilmister’s bass work so well.  Kilmister’s confidence as he leads the way is just as entertaining.  Dee meanwhile, deserves his own praise, as he solidly keeps  the time in each high-energy composition. The band keeps the banter between songs to an extreme minimum, instead letting the songs and their energies do the talking.  The power in each song’s performance does much to illustrate the band members’ confidence, making for even more engagement and entertainment for listeners.  When the entertainment and engagement ensured by the band’s performance is considered along with that generated by the concert’s familiar set list, the recording proves even more appealing to the noted fans.  Thee two elements are only a portion of the recording’s presentation.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements.

It should be disclosed here that this critic was only provided a streaming audio presentation of Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin, rather than a streaming video link.  To that end, this discussion will focus solely on the recording’s audio production.  If a streaming video link is provided at some time, then this discussion will include a focus on that aspect.  Having noted all of this, the audio production that went into the audio-only presentation of Motorhead’s new recording is positive in its own right.  It is rich and fully immersive.  Kilmister’s semi-mumbling vocal delivery style is just as present here as on any of Motorhead’s studio recordings.  Campbell’s guitar cuts through in each song, including the deeply moving ‘String Theory’ guitar solo.  Dee’s cymbal crashes, snare hits, etc. are just as well-balanced against Campbell’s guitar and Kilmister’s vocals and bass.  At no point in the concert is any one part overpowering against the others.  The effect is that it makes the recording’s general effect just as appealing for audiences as the concert’s content.  When that content and the presentation thereof is considered together, the result is a presentation (at least in terms of the concert’s audio presentation) that Motorhead’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.

The audio-only presentation of Motorhead’s new live recording, Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin will appeal to any of the band’s most devoted, longtime audiences.  that is proven in part through its set list.  While clearly familiar, featuring a number of songs that are also featured in many of the band’s existing live recordings, the set list does well in its presentation of the band’s early catalog.  That is despite the fact that the concert was part of a tour that was meant to support then far more recent studio recording.  It celebrates Motorhead’s developmental years, which will itself appeal to the noted audiences.  The band’s performance of the recording’s featured set list will keep audiences engaged and entertained what with the energy exuded by each musician as the group makes its way through the set.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements.  Even considering that solely of the audio presentation, every level is expertly balanced throughout.  That is a tribute to the work of those who recorded the concert on site and those who handled the production in post.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, they make Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin a presentation about which Motorhead’s most devoted fans will make plenty of noise.  Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin is scheduled for release Friday through Silver Linings Music and Motorhead Music.

More information on Motorhead’s new live recording 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.  

Saxon Takes On A Classic From The Beatles For Its Latest Single

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon is giving audiences yet another preview of its forthcoming covers compilation.

The band debuted its take on The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ Friday, along with the cover’s companion lyric video. The cover is the third single from Saxon’s forthcoming covers compilation, Inspirations, which is scheduled for release March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The collection also features covers of Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King‘ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black.’

Saxon front man Biff Byford noted during a recent interview, his appreciation for The Beatles is far-reaching.

“I saw The Beatles on TV for the first time in 1963,” he said. “It was a very inspirational moment for me to think maybe I could be in a band!”

Saxon’s take on ‘Paperback Writer’ stays true to its source material, but amps it up considerably. The song takes on more of an arena rock type work here versus the more pop rock approach taken in The Beatles’ original.

The track listing for Inspirations is noted below.  Pre-orders are open.

Track Listing:

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

 More information on Inspirations is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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.

Saxon Debuts Video For ‘Speed King’ Cover

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon is taking on a Deep Purple classic for its latest single.

The band debuted its cover of Deep Purple’s song ‘Speed King‘ and its companion video Friday. The song is the second single from Saxon’s forthcoming covers compilation record Inspiration, which is scheduled for release March 19 through Silver Linings Music. It follows the premiere of the record’s lead single, a cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Painted Black.’

Saxon’s take on ‘Speed King’ is slightly different from its source material. The frenetic guitar solo that opens the original is absent in Saxon’s cover. The band instead opts to jump right into the song’s primary section. It should also be noted that the more laid back bridge in the original song is nixed in Saxon’s update, too. Saxon’s take opts instead to keep the energy high throughout.

The video for Saxon’s cover of ‘Speed King’ is just as energetic as the band’s cover, presenting various clips of rally cars racing on different backroads courses.

Front man Biff Byford, who released his own solo record School of Hard Knocks last year, talked about the band’s cover of ‘Speed King.’

“Without ‘Speed King’ there would be no ‘Motorcycle Man,’ he said. “I love the attitude, energy, an driving speed of this song, not to mention those screaming vocals! I’d never sung it before, and I had great fun with it!”

The track listing for Inspirations is noted below.  Pre-orders are open.

Track Listing:

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

 More information on Inspirations is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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

Saxon Announces Title, Release Date, Specs For New Covers Collection

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon will open the new year with a new covers record.

The band is scheduled to release its new collection, aptly titled Inspirations, March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The 11-song record features covers of songs from bands, such as The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy. Audiences can hear the band’s cover of The Rolling Stones’ famed song ‘Painted Black,’ which is featured in the compilation, here.

Front man Biff Byford, who released his own solo record School of Hard Knocks this year, talked about the band’s new compilation during a recent interview.

“We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do, and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before,” said Byford.  “We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon.  And we also think it’s very important to have – and share with the fans – some fun in these dark times.”

Alongside the noted covers, Saxon’s forthcoming compilation also features covers of songs from other acts, such as Motorhead, Toto, and Led Zeppelin. The collection was recorded at Brockfield Hall near York, in the United Kingdom. the structure was constructed in 1804 and houses the largest collection of paintings from Yorkshire’s impressionist artists — The Staiths.

Byford talked about recording in the facility during his noted interview.

“The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” said Byford. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.”

Inspirations‘ track listing is noted below. The album will release on CD, vinyl, and digital outlets. Pre-orders are open.

Track Listing:

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

 More information on Inspirations is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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

‘School Of Hard Knocks’ Is A Positive Presentation From Longtime Saxon Front Man Byford

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Biff Byford has, for more than 40 years, led the way for the famed hard rock band Saxon. Considering his expasive resume, one would have thought that Byford would have already released a handful of solo recordings by now.  Interestingly enough, he has not released any solo material.  That is until this year.  Byford released his solo debut album School of Hard Knocks Feb. 21 through Silver Linings Music.  The 11-song, 51-minute record is a work that longtime Saxon fans will appreciate just as much as fans of Saxon’s fellow British heavy metal counterpart, Judas Priest and even hair metal fans.  This element will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical material adds even more insurance of listeners’ engagement and enjoyment.  It will be addressed a little later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of School of Hard Knocks.  All things considered, they make the album a presentation that rock and metal fans across the board will agree is a strong solo debut from one of rock’s most talented and respected vocalists and his fellow musicians — Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth) on guitars, Christian Lundqvist on drums and Gus Macricostas on bass.

Biff Byford’s solo debut album School of Hard Knocks is a presentation that is certain to appeal to a wide range of rock and metal fans.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements are varied throughout the course of the album.  The album’s opener ‘Welcome to the Show’ is an up-tempo work that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of KISS, Motley Crue and AC/DC.  The same applies to its follow-up, which is also the album’s title track.  One could even argue here that there are hints of Ted Nugent similarities in this case.  ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ changes the record’s pace, offering more of a power metal approach.  This song’s arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from Saxon’s fellow British metal counterparts Judas Priest, with its soaring vocals, driving guitars and solid time keeping.  ‘Worlds Collide,’ which immediately follows ‘The Pit and the Pendulum,’ could easily match up against any of today’s metal compositions and hold its own with ease.  Byford and company’s take on Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ is intriguing in the best way possible.  With its minimalist approach, it is just as enjoyable as its source material.  ‘Pedal to the Metal’ changes things up once again, going back to the power metal for which Byford has come to be known for crafting with his Saxon brethren.  At the same time, it is just as comparable once more to works from Judas Priest.  Much the same can be said of ‘Hearts of Steel.’  ‘Throw Down The Sword’ is a direct cover of Wishbone Ash’s song by the same name, and it changes things up once more, stylistically speaking.  As the album comes to its close in ‘Me and You’ and ‘Black and White,’ the feeling turns toward a more distinct 80s hair metal approach, with the first of the pair easily likened to a certain ballad from Poison while the latter is more akin to the sound that bridged the late 80s and early 90s with its hard-edged guitar-driven sound.  By the time the record reaches its end, audiences will look back and realize they have experienced a work that at least musically has taken them on a positive rock and roll ride from start to end.  That mix of rock and metal sounds is just one part of what makes the album worth hearing.  The record’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical content.

The lyrical themes featured throughout the course of School of Hard Knocks are almost as varied as the musical arrangements that are presented.  ‘Hearts of Steel’ is an autobiographical piece about Byford’s life and career.  In turning his attention to ‘Scarborough Fair,’ Byford explained that song’s content in a recent interview.  “It’s a traditional medieval song, and the story goes that Paul Simon happened to hear somebody playing it in Whitby, which is just down the road from Scarborough,” he said. “But I wanted something which represented Yorkshire and it is a Yorkshire folk song, so we tried a new arrangement which made it a little heavier, and it works really well.” In other words, here in this song is a work whose roots go back ages and is distinctly different from the likes of ‘Wheels of Steel’ in its lyrical theme.  ‘Inquisitor,’ as short as it is – it clocks in at approximately one minute, 26 seconds – is a semi-spoken word piece that takes its inspiration from the Spanish Inquisition, yet another distinctly different topic from the lyrical content in the rest of the album.  ‘Me and You’ takes the more familiar route of a song centered on the topic of a relationship.  It’s just one more way in which the songs’ varied lyrical themes prove to be just as key to the album as the record’s equally varied musical styles.  That variance in content from one song to next continues to make the album appealing for audiences.  When it is considered with the variance in the album’s musical arrangements, that overall variance makes fully evident why the record’s content in general is so important to its presentation.  It is still not the last important element to examine.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

School of Hard Knocks’ sequencing is crucial to its presentation because the energies in the content is just as important as the content itself.  As already noted, School of Hard Knocks opens in very up-tempo fashion in ‘Welcome to the Show’ following its slow build in the song’s early bars.  From there though, the energy stays solid throughout the remainder of the composition.  The album’s title track keeps that energy flowing, and even picks things up a little bit more with its blues-based approach.  ‘Inquisitor’ pulls the energy back, but only briefly before the record’s energy picks right back up in ‘The Pit and the Pendulum.’  That energy increases even more, again, in that already noted hard-driving metal opus that is ‘Worlds Collide.’  The energy pulls back again in the group’s cover of ‘Scarborough Fair.’  That moment of reserve only lasts a short time, though, as the album  progresses into the high-adrenaline ‘Pedal to the Metal’ and ‘Hearts of Steel.’  Once more, the album reaches one of its troughs as it progresses from ‘Hearts of Steel’ into the cover of Wishbone Ash’s ‘Throw Down The Sword.’  The relaxed feel and tone of ‘You and Me’ and the bluesy mid-tempo rocker that is ‘Black and White’ make for a fitting finale for the record.  The two songs never overdo the energy on the high or low end.  Looking back at all of this, it becomes evident that Byford, who produced the album, and everyone who worked with him made certain to put all the highs and lows at all of the right points.  The result is a solid balance of energies throughout the album from start to end.  That balance ensures even more, listeners will remain engaged and entertained throughout the course of the album’s almost hour-long run time.  Considering this element with the record’s overall content and the matters within the music and lyrics, the whole of it all leaves School of Hard Knocks a work that is a positive solo debut for Byford.

Biff Byford’s solo debut LP School of Hard Knocks is a surprisingly enjoyable offering from the longtime Saxon front man.  That is especially considering that he has spent more than 40 years at the band’s helm, the whole time without having released even one solo record until now.  The album’s musical content will appeal to a wide range of rock and metal fans while the lyrical content is just as certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained with its own variety.  The sequencing that is utilized throughout the album keeps the record’s energy balanced throughout its run.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of School of Hard Knocks.  All things considered, they make the record a work that is deserving of at least one listen by rock and metal purists alike.  More information on the album is available now along with Byford’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.saxon747.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/biffsaxon747

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

 

 

 

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.

‘Thunderbolt’ Is An “Electrifying” New Effort From Veteran Rock Act Saxon

Courtesy: Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music)

Veteran hard rock act Saxon has, for more than four decades, been entertaining audiences the world over with its own brand of music. Considered by most to be one of the leaders of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the band has easily maintained a place for itself the entire time both in the rock realm and within the musical universe overall. Now with the recent release of Thunderbolt, its 22nd full-length studio recording, the band continues to show why it is still one of rock’s elite acts and just as relevant today as it was in its infancy. That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. Its lyrical themes are just as worth noting here as its musical arrangements and will be discussed later. The album’s sequencing rounds out the elements that prove this album’s power. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Thunderbolt. All things considered, they make the album another hard-hitting strike from Saxon.

Thunderbolt, the 22nd full-length studio recording from British hard rock outfit Saxon is a solid new musical strike from the veteran band. It is a record that proves Saxon is still one of rock’s elite acts and just as relevant today as it was in its infancy. This is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements. Right off the top, the band takes audiences on a familiar musical ride with the up-tempo arrangement at the center of the album’s title track — a ride that instantly conjures thoughts of Judas Priest set alongside some of its own heavier material. The arrangement at the center of ‘The Secret of Flight’ meanwhile brings about thoughts of Metallica circa 1984 (the year that Ride The Lightning was released). Keeping in mind that Saxon has composed similarly styled arrangements throughout its history, this serves to show Saxon’s own likely influence on Metallica’s sound. The comparison to Judas Priest returns once again in the album’s third full-length song (and fourth overall since the album’s opener was only a 1:35 intro track) ‘Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz.’ This time it is a comparison to Priest’s more recent work. One of the most standout arrangements presented in this record comes in the Motorhead tribute (yes, there’s even a Motorhead tribute here), ‘They Played Rock and Roll.’ From its driving guitar riffs to its bass work and solid time keeping, the song is a solid, wonderful tribute to yet another of the rock world’s elite. It goes without saying that this song is one of the album’s best works, musically speaking (and lyrically, but that will be discussed later). ‘Predator’ is another great classic hard rock/metal addition to this album that stands out not just because of its arrangement, but also because of the guest appearance by Amon Amarth front man Johann Hegg.’ Hegg’s familiar growl juxtaposed by Saxon front man Biff Byford makes quite the impact. That’s especially the case when their vocal deliveries are joined by the song’s musical lines. The end result is its own standout work that will keep listeners just as engaged as any of the album’s other works. That includes ‘Sons of Odin,’ which once again, bears some resemblance to works from Judas Priest (again, both musically and lyrically), ‘Sniper’ which brings about another comparison to Metallica stylistically speaking and ‘Speed Merchants,’ which boasts its own Motorhead comparison. Between all of these songs and those perhaps not noted here, it becomes clear that the stylistic comparisons to Saxon’s counterparts and its own prior works makes the musical component of this record critical to its success both in itself and when considering its role in Saxon’s overall history. The record’s musical arrangements are only one of the items to be discussed in examining the album’s whole. Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical material.

The lyrical themes presented throughout the album are so important to note because there does not seem to be one connecting theme from one to the next. From the tribute to Motorhead to the completely random piece about vampires to songs apparently about Norse mythology and even fantasy — ‘A Wizard’s Tale’ — and so much more, the lyrical themes that make up the body of this record run the gamut so to speak. ‘Sniper’ will have listeners talking just as much as those noted songs. The same can be said of ‘Secret of Flight,’ which apparently seems to follow the history of flight, and ‘Roadie’s Song,’ which is in fact about a roadie’s life. On one hand, the simplicity and range of the songs’ lyrical themes leaves one wanting to ask is Saxon just out of ideas. On the other hand though, at least little doubt is left as to the message in each song. There is no metaphor or anything of that mature to lead to misinterpretation. To that end, the band deserves credit for the songs’ lyrical themes. Keeping that in mind alongside the power of the songs’ musical arrangements and audiences get an album in Thunderbolt that again, shows why it is such a strong musical strike from the veteran rock outfit. That juxtaposition is just one more part of what makes this record another sign of Saxon’s solid spot in the rock realm today. The record’s overall sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Thunderbolt‘s sequencing is important because it plays just as much into listeners’ engagement and entertainment as the record’s musical and lyrical content. The sequencing, in regards to the record’s musical content is so important because of the energy maintained throughout the arrangements. ‘Thunderbolt’ and ‘The Secret of Flight’ give the record a solid, up-tempo start while ‘Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)’ boasts its own energy through its heaviness even though it isn’t the up-tempo rocker that its predecessors prove to be. Keeping that in mind, it still maintains the energy established in those songs even without being as fast-paced as them. that energy picks right back up though, in ‘They Played Rock and Roll’ and continues on through ‘Predator’ before the band again opts to go slower yet heavy again in ‘Sons of Odin.’ Considering the seeming pattern that is built through the up and down of the album’s tempos so far, one would be right to assume that from the slower, but heavy ‘Sons of Odin’ gives way to another more up-tempo piece in ‘Sniper.’ That energy carries on to the album’s end in the very 1980s-esque ‘Roadie’s Song.’ It ensures even more listeners’ maintained engagement. Considering this along with the balance of energies throughout the rest of the album, it can be said with ease that plenty of thought was put into this album’s sequencing in regards to the energies in its arrangements. When this is considered alongside the arrangements themselves and the songs’ lyrical content, the end result is an album that audiences will agree is — again — another solid musical strike from Saxon.

The sequencing in regards to the album’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss in examining the album’s overall sequencing as its musical arrangements. The album starts out with a song centered — seemingly — on Greek mythology in ‘Olympus Rising’ and ‘Thunderbolt’ before moving on to a commentary of sorts in the history of flight from its peaceful roots to its destructive current use. Considering that one of the refrains in ‘Thunderbolt’ states “unleash the Gods of war,” this can be argued to be a relatively smooth transition from one song to the next. Whether that connection was intended is anyone’s guess, but it is there. ‘Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz’ and ‘They Played Rock and Roll,’ while totally separate from one another in their themes, make for an entertaining change of pace lyrically speaking. ‘Predator,’ ‘Sons of Odin’ and ‘Sniper’ all seem to have similar lyrical themes that while not exactly the same, seem close enough to understand why they might have been grouped together. ‘A Wizard’s Tale,’ like ‘Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz),’ is another random transition that actually because of that randomness, still works in keeping listeners engaged. ‘Speed Merchants’ and ‘Roadie’s Song’ are about as separate as can be from each other and from ‘A Wizard’s Tale.’ This is important to note because it presents even more lyrical variety for listeners, in turn ensuring once more those listeners’ engagement. When this is considered along with the engagement insured through the album’s musical sequencing, its arrangements and lyrical themes, these elements all join together to present a record overall that is another electrifying new effort from one of the justifiably most respected hard rock bands out there today.

Veteran hard rock band Saxon’s latest full-length studio recording Thunderbolt is an electrifying new effort from one of the most respected bands in the hard rock community today. That is proven in part through arrangements that from start to finish will keep listeners engaged with their sounds and energies. The lyrical themes, as random as they can be throughout this album, leave little doubt as to their subject matter because they are so simple. While that might be bad to some point, it is also good being that so few bands take and have taken that route. The album’s sequencing, both in regards to its energies and its lyrical topics plays its own integral part to the album’s whole. Each element is important in its own way, as has been pointed out here. All things considered, they make this album one that will entertain Saxon devotees and hard rock aficionados alike. It is available now in stores and online and at the band’s current live dates. More information on Thunderbolt is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.saxon747.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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

Project 86 “Among” Rock and Metal’s Best On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Project 86/TAG Publicity

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Yes, everyone knows that phrase from AC/DC’s classic song by the same name.  As popular as it is, it is more than just a song lyric and title.  It is a statement of honor for the acts and audiences who span the rock community.  This year, as with every year prior, there are so many bands to honor as the year nears its end, including hard rock and metal bands.  In case it hasn’t become clear by now, this article focuses on this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  As with every list before, compiling it was not an easy task.  New releases from Project 86, Arch Enemy, Iced Earth, and so many others made this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums very crowded.  That is putting it lightly.  Between well-known mainstream acts and their lesser-known independent counterparts, the two sides collectively offered so many impressive new albums.

Topping this critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums is Project 86’s latest album Sheep Among Wolves.  The band’s 10th full-length studio recording in 20 years, this record takes all of the best elements of the band’s past — both musically and lyrically — and uses them to craft a work that is just as memorable and engaging as its predecessors.  Also on this year’s list from Phil’s Picks are new albums from — as already noted — Iced Earth and Arch Enemy — as well as new offerings from Overkill, Act of Defiance, Prong, Adrenaline Mob, Blacktop Mojo and others. As with every list, this list presents this critic’s Top 10 titles plus five additional titles for a total of 15 records.  That being noted, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  2. Prong — Zero Days
  3. Act of Defiance — Old Scars, New Wounds
  4. Overkill — The Grinding Wheel
  5. Iced Earth — Incorruptable
  6. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  7. Adrenaline Mob — We The People
  8. Marty Friedman — Wall of Sound
  9. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  10. Dragonforce — Reaching Into Infinity
  11. The Haunted — Strength In Numbers
  12. Doyle — As We Die
  13. Demon Hunter — Outlive
  14. 36 Crazyfists — Lanterns
  15. Arch Enemy — Will To Power

That’s all for this list.  Again, it was not an easy list to compile.  Acts the likes of Eve To Eve to Adam, Marty Friedman, Sepultura, Annihilator, Mastodon and so many others all deserve their own share of credit.  With that in mind, it becomes easy to see why no disrespect was meant to any one act or another here.  Every noted act released its own impressive album.  Only so many spaces were available, sadly.

2018 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in its own right, with new material from Ministry on the way alongside new albums from Judas Priest, Saxon, Machine Head, Corrosion of Conformity, Tool, Clutch and lots more.  Stay tuned for all of that in the new year.  To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Saxon Debuts ‘Thunderbolt’ Video

Courtesy: Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music)

Saxon is giving audiences their first taste of its new album.

The band unveiled Friday the video for the title song from its forthcoming album Thunderbolt. The video for the Judas Priest-esque arrangement mixes live footage of the band with the song for an experience certain to get audiences excited about the band’s upcoming live dates (interestingly enough) with Judas Priest. That tour launches March 13 in Wilkes Barre, PA and is currently scheduled to run through May 1 in San Antonio, TX.

Before the band spans America with Judas Priest, it will tour alongside Diamond Head and Rock Goddess for a short European tour set to launch Feb. 23 and run through March 3. Both tours’ schedules are noted below.

SAXON Thunderbolt 2018 European Tour – Part 1
Feb. 23 – UK, Cardiff University
Feb. 24 – UK, Cambridge Corn Exchange
Feb.25 – UK, Hull City Hall
Feb. 27- Holland, Tilburg 013
Feb. 28 – Germany, Saarbruecken Garage
Mar. 1 – Germany,  Hannover Capitol
Mar. 2 – Germany,  Frankfurt Batschkapp
Mar. 3 – Germany, Dresden Schlachthof   
SAXON North American tour dates with Judas Priest and Black Star Riders
Mar. 13 – Wilkes Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Mar. 15 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
Mar. 17 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Mar. 18 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
Mar. 20 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Mar. 22 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Mar. 23 – Worcester – Palladium
Mar. 25 – Ottawa, ON – The Arena at TD Place
Mar. 27 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
Mar. 28 – Oshawa, ON – Tribute Communities Centre
Mar. 31 – Detroit, MI – Detroit Masonic Temple
Apr. 02 – Minneapolis – The Amorey
Apr. 03 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Apr. 05 – Green Bay, WI – Resch Center
Apr 06 – Hammond, IN – Venue at Horseshoe Casino (no Black Star Riders)
Apr. 08 – Bloomington, IL – Grossinger Motors Aren
Apr. 10 – Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Apr. 11 – Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
Apr. 15 – Kent, WA – ShoWare Center
Apr. 17 – Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Apr. 19 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
Apr. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft Theater
Apr. 21 – Las Vegas, NV – Las Rageous Rock Festival
Apr. 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Apr. 26 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
Apr. 28 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
Apr. 29 – Sugarland, TX – Smart Financial Centre
May 01 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum

Pre-orders for Thunderbolt are open now. It will be available on CD, vinyl, cassette and limited edition box set as well as digital platforms.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Thunderbolt Track Listing
  1. Olympus Rising
  2. Thunderbolt
  3. The Secret of Flight
  4. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
  5. They Played Rock and Roll
  6. Predator
  7. Sons of Odin
  8. Sniper
  9. A Wizard’s Tale
  10. Speed Merchants
  11. Roadie’s Song
  12. Nosferatu (Raw Version)*
*not available on vinyl

More information on Thunderbolt is available online along with the band’s latest tour dates and more at:

Website: http://www.saxon747.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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

Saxon To Open 2018 With New Album

Courtesy: Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music)

The good news keeps coming for fans of Saxon.

Only a week after BMG announced it would release a new Saxon retrospective and the band announced a new live recording and new live dates with Judas Priest, the band has announced it has another new studio recording on the way.

The band announced this week that it will open the New Year with its next new album Thunderbolt.  The album, the band’s 22nd full-length studio recording, will be available on CD, vinyl, special edition box set, cassette tape and digital download.

Thunderbolt is currently slated to be released Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 via Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music). Pre-orders open Dec. 1.

Front man Biff Byford said in a recent interview that the album, which was produced by famed producer Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Stuck Mojo, Fozzy), will leave listeners making plenty of their own noise.

“This is album 22 and it’s called Thunderbolt,” Byford said.  “It’s a storming, smashing, thundering collection of tracks we’ve been crafting with producer Andy Sneap, and it’s finished ready to be released.  Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!”

Thunderbolt’s track listing is noted below.

Thunderbolt Track Listing
  1. Olympus Rising
  2. Thunderbolt
  3. The Secret of Flight
  4. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
  5. They Played Rock and Roll
  6. Predator
  7. Sons of Odin
  8. Sniper
  9. A Wizard’s Tale
  10. Speed Merchants
  11. Roadie’s Song
  12.  Nosferatu (Raw Version)*
*not available on vinyl

He added that the band will hit the road next year in support of its new album on its own tour.

“This is part one of the colossal Thunderbolt World Tour” Byford said.  “We’re going to be touring the whole of 2018, so get your tickets and join the ride.  It’s going to be fast and furious, dark and brooding.  Monumental riffing and screaming vocals – loud and proud – It’s going to be a Saxon tour, unique in every way!”

The current tour schedule for the Thunderbolt World Tour is noted below.  Ticket pre-sales for the tour open Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. General sale tickets go on sale Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.

Thunderbolt 2018 European Tour – Part 1
Fri February 23 – UK, Cardiff University
Sat February 24 – UK, Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sun February 25 – UK, Hull City Hall
Tue February 27- Holland, Tilburg 013
Wed February 28 – Germany, Saarbruecken Garage
Thu March 1 – Germany,  Hannover Capitol
Fri March 2 – Germany,  Frankfurt Batschkapp
Sat March 3 – Germany, Dresden Schlachthof     

More information on Thunderbolt is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.saxon747.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

 

 

 

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

Saxon Announces New Retrospective, Live Recording; Joining Judas Priest Live

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Saxon will release an extensive new hits collection this fall.

BMG will release the band’s new anthology Decade of the Eagle on Friday, Dec. 1.  The compilation will feature 34 tracks taken from the band’s first nine albums and liner notes from front man Biff Byford outlining that period of the band’s career.  It will also feature rare and classic pictures of the band from that period.

Byford said of the albums represented in this latest compilation that they represented a key moment in the band’s life, adding they are still as important today as they were in their original release.

“These are the albums from a time in the eighties that moved a generation of rock fans from around the world, when British rock was once again at the front,” Byford said.  “Great times – never to be forgotten and still reverberating to this day.”

Along with its standard CD  and LP release, Decade of the Eagle will also be released on a deluxe limited edition 4 LP and deluxe 2 CD platform.  Pre-orders are open now here.  The compilation’s full track listing is noted below.

TRACKLISTING
1 Stallions Of The Highway
2  Big Teaser
3  Backs To The Wall
4  Militia Guard
5  Wheels Of Steel
6  747 (Strangers In The Night)
7  Suzie Hold On
8  Motorcycle Man (live)
9  Strong Arm Of The Law
10  Heavy Metal Thunder
11  20,000ft (live)
12  Dallas 1PM
13  And The Bands Played On
14  Never Surrender
15  Denim And Leather
16  Fire In the Sky (live)
17  Princess Of The Night
18  Power & The Glory
19  This Town Rocks
20  The Eagle Has Landed
21  Midas Touch
22  Sailing To America
23  Crusader
24  Devil Rides Out
25  Back On The Streets
26  Rockin’ Again
27  Rock N’ Roll Gypsy
28  Broken Heroes
29  Waiting For The Night
30  Rock The Nations
31  Northern Lady
32  Battle Cry
33  Ride Like The Wind
34 Red Alert
1LP & 1CD Tracklist:
 
1 Backs To The Wall
2 Wheels Of Steel
3 747 (Strangers In The Night)
4 Strong Arm Of The Law
5 Denim And Leather
6 Power And The Glory
7 Sailing To America
8 Rock N’Roll Gypsy
9 Waiting For The Night
10 Ride Like The Wind

Courtesy: Saxon

Along with the new retrospective, the band will also soon release its latest live recording 10 Years of Denim and Leather on CD/DVD combo pack. Pre-orders for that recording are also open now.  The band’s most recent live recording Let Me Feel Your Power was released Oct. 28, 2016.

Courtesy: Judas Priest

The band will give audiences the chance to experience its live show in person next spring when it hits the road for the Firepower 2018 tour, headlined by Judas Priest. The tour, which will be in support of the band’s forthcoming album Firepower, launches March 13 in Wilkes-Barr, PA.  Black Star Riders will serve as support alongside Saxon.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Confirmed tour dates:
3/13/2018 Wilkes Barre, PA  Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
3/15/2018 Youngstown, OH  Covelli Centre
3/17/2018 Uniondale, NY  Nassau Coliseum
3/18/2018 Washington, DC  The Anthem
3/20/2018 Newark, NJ  Prudential Center
3/22/2018 Uncasville, CT  Mohegan Sun Arena
3/25/2018 Ottawa, ON  The Arena at TD Place
3/27/2018 London, ON  Budweiser Gardens
3/28/0208 Oshawa, ON  Tribute Communities Centre
3/30/2018 Orillia, ON  Casino Rama
3/31/2018 Detroit, MI  Detroit Masonic Temple
  4/3/2018 Milwaukee, WI  Riverside Theater
  4/5/2018 Green Bay, WI  Resch Center
  4/8/2018 Bloomington, IL  Grossinger Motors Arena
4/10/2018 Casper, WY  Casper Events Center
4/11/2018 Loveland, CO  Budweiser Events Center
4/15/2018 Kent, WA  ShoWare Center
4/17/2018 Portland, OR  Veterans Memorial Coliseum
4/19/2018 San Francisco  The Warfield
4/22/2018 Los Angeles, CA  Microsoft Theater
4/24/2018 Phoenix, AZ  Comerica Theatre
4/26/2018 Tulsa, OK  BOK Center
4/28/2018 Dallas, TX  The Bomb Factory
4/29/2018 Sugarland, TX  Smart Financial Centre
  5/1/2018 San Antonio, TX  Freeman Coliseum

More information on Decade of the Eagle is available online now along with all of Saxon’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.saxon747.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

 

 

 

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