Scale The Summit Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Scale The Summit is heading out on tour this spring.

Scale The Summit will embark on a twenty-eight-date tour this spring in support of its latest full-length studio recording V. The tour kicks off Tuesday, March 15th in Los Angeles, CA and runs through Wednesday, April 13th in San Francisco, CA. The first portion of the tour will see the band making its way from California into the Southwest and Midwest. There will also be a string of dates along the East Coast that begins Thursday, March 24th in Atlanta, GA. That leg includes a stop in North Carolina on Sunday, March 27th at The Rabbit Hole. After winding down the East Coast leg of its tour, STS will then perform another small handful of dates in the Midwest before heading north into Canada for the last leg of the tour. That leg will see the band Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver just to name a handful of cities. After wrapping the Canadian leg of its tour, the band will then head south again to perform in Seattle, WA on April 11th, Portland, OR on April 12th, and then San Francisco, CA on April 13th. The band’s complete current tour schedule is listed below.

 

TOUR DATES


3/15 Los Angeles, CA – Roxy #

3/16 San Diego, CA -Brick By Brick #

3/17 Mesa, AZ – Nile Underground #

3/18 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad #

3/19 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre #

3/20 Lawrence, KS – Aftershock #

3/21 Fort Worth, TX – Tomcats #

3/22 Austin, TX – Dirty Dog #

3/23 Houston, TX – Walters #

3/24 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade #

3/25 Tampa, FL – Orpheum #

3/26 Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall #

3/27 Charlotte, NC – Rabbit Hole #

3/28 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel #

3/29 New York, NY – Marlin Room @ Webster Hall #

3/30 Boston, MA – Middle East #

4/1 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace #

4/2 Detroit, MI – Loving Touch #

4/3 Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club #

4/4 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre #

4/5 Winnipeg, MB – Goodwill #

4/6 Regina, SK – Exchange #

4/7 Edmonton, AB – Skylite #

4/8 Calgary, AB – Dickens #

4/9 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre #

4/11 Seattle, WA – Crocodile #

4/12 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre #

4/13 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill #

# with Intronaut, North

 

Scale The Summit will serve as co-support act for Intronaut for the upcoming tour, which marks the first time that STS will have performed live with drummer J.C. Bryant. V is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store, Scale The Summit’s official Bandcamp page, Amazon, and iTunes. More information on Scale The Summit’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.scalethesummit.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scalethesummit

 

 

 

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2015’s Top New Albums Come From Across The Musical Universe

The countdown is near, folks. And with the end of the year nearly here, the end of Phil’s Picks’ year-enders is officially here. We have finally come down to the last of this year’s “Best Of” lists. To close out this year’s group of year-enders we come full circle and finish where we started; back in the music world. To close out 2015, Phil’s Picks offers up its list of the year’s top new albums overall. This list was anything but easy to compile. That is because the top 10 albums and five honorable mention titles really represent so many galaxies within the musical universe. There’s some blues in this list courtesy of The Rev.Shawn Amos in this list. Salvador Santana, Carlos Santana’s son is also on this list, along with Pimps of Joytime and Fort Knox Five representing the rap and hip-hop galaxies. George Strait, The King of Country himself, is also here as are Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Even jazz great Terence Blanchard gets a nod as do Joe Satriani and electro-rock duo NYVES. There are others included here. And they are noted in the list below. Being that each album comes from a different part of the musical universe, figuring each album’s place in this list was what really made assembling this list so tough. The ability of listeners to take in the album without skipping tracks was taken into account as was each album’s production values and combined lyrical and musical content. That goes back to the albums’ ability to keep listeners fully engaged from start to finish. So no offense was meant to any act in its placement on this list. EVERY one of the albums included in this list was far more than deserving of being included in this list. That taken into consideration the following is the final list of this year’s top overall albums from Phil’s Picks. And as always, the top 10 albums make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive honorable mention. Without any further ado here for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Albums. Happy New Year!

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

1. BOARDWALK EMPIRE: BOARDWALK EMPIRE VOLUME 3

2. JUDITH HALL: BACK IN TIME

3. SALVADOR SANTANA: FANTASY REALITY

4. GEORGE STRAIT: COLD BEER CONVERSATION

5. WILLIE NELSON & MERLE HAGGARD: DJANGO & JIMMIE

6. SCALE THE SUMMIT: V

7. JOE SATRIANI: SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA

8. BLACKBERRY SMOKE: HOLDING ALL THE ROSES

9. FORT KNOX FIVE: PRESSURIZE THE CABIN

10. PIMPS OF JOYTIME: JUKESTONE PARADISE

11. NYVES: ANXIETY

12. DELTA RAE: AFTER IT ALL

13. THE REV. SHAWN AMOS: THE REV. SHAWN AMOS LOVES YOU

14. SUGARCANE JANE: DIRT ROAD’S END

15. TERENCE BLANCHARD: BREATHLESS

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Slayer Reclaims The Metal Throne In 2015

There’s only a week and a half left in 2015 after this week. That means that the days are finally really ticking away. And as they pass by so do the year-ender lists from all of the critics. That includes this critic. So far this month, Phil’s Picks has revealed its top new EPs, World Music albums, County, etc. albums, Rap and Hip-Hop albums, Children’s albums, and Rock albums. There have even been lists for the year’s best new live CD recording and album re-issues. Now we come down to the last two lists of the music universe for this year. Today the first of those lists will be revealed. That list is the list of the year’s best new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums. The second and final music list of the year is the year’s best overall albums. That list will come alongside the list of the year’s top new movies later on. So for now, today brings the last of the music year-enders. And it’s quite a doozy. It was anything but easy to assemble. Slayer grabbed the top spot with its new album Repentless. Saxon is there, too as is Annihilator, Gloomball, Between The Buried and Me, and many others. As with every previous list, the Top 10 albums make up the main body of the list. The bottom five are each honorable mention as they simply could not be ignored. That brings the total list to fifteen albums. SO without further ado, here for your reading pleasure, dear readers, are the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. SLAYERREPENTLESS

 

  1. TESSERACT – POLARIS

 

  1. SCALE THE SUMMIT – V

 

  1. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – COMA ECLIPTIC

 

  1. SEVENDUST – KILL THE FLAW

 

  1. GLOOMBALL – THE QUIET MONSTER

 

  1. ARMORED SAINT – WIN HANDS DOWN

 

  1. SAXON – BATTERING RAM

 

  1. LAMB OF GOD – VII: STURM UND DRANG

 

  1. MOTORHEAD – BAD MAGIC

 

  1. ANNIHILATOR – SUICIDE SOCIETY

 

  1. ATREYU – LONG LIVE

 

  1. ACT OF DEFIANCE – BIRTH AND THE BURIAL

 

  1. BATTLECROSS – RISE TO POWER

 

  1. HAMMERCULT – BUILT FOR WAR

 

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STS Creates Another Musical Masterpiece In Its Fifth Full-Length Album

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Veteran prog-rock outfit Scale The Summit released its latest album last Friday. The album, simply (and aptly) titled V is the band’s fifth full-length studio effort since its formation roughly ten years ago in Houston, Texas and its fifth in the eight years since the release of its 2007 debut album Monument. That is impressive considering that it is nearly double what most bands manage to churn out in that amount of time. Most bands typically can get out three albums over ten years if they’re lucky considering touring schedules for each album. STS has proven over the course of its eleven years together to obviously be anything but one of those bands having released a new album every two years since the release of its 2007 debut. That’s not the only way in which the band has proven to be anything but standard. It has also shown that in regards to the overall content of each of its previous recordings. None of the band’s previous four albums have sounded like the other. And even within themselves, none of said records have stuck to just one style of rock, either. They encompass both the prog-rock realm and that of prog-metal. There are even some modern jazz influences in each of the band’s compositions as well as other influences. That is just as much the case in V as in the band’s previous records. That variety will keep listeners just as engaged throughout the course of this record as its previous offerings. And for those that might be less familiar with the band’s body of work it is just as effective as a first impression. Keeping all of this in mind, V shows in full to be yet another impressive effort from STS as well as yet another candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock record and one of the year’s best new hard/rock albums. Such success means it is also just as easy of a candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall.

Scale The Summit has proven time and again to be one of the best bands in the prog-rock and prog-metal community over the course of its now eleven years together. That is because it has made a concerted effort to be different from both others within the world of progressive music and music in whole. That effort has paid off yet again on the band’s fifth full-length studio recording. Simply (and aptly) titled V the album boasts ten more instrumental tracks that longtime fans will enjoy just as much as those that might be new to the band’s body of work. That is made clear right from the album’s opener ‘The Winged Bull.’ This four minute-plus opus is one more example of why STS has so often been compared to the likes of Dream Theater and other well-known names within the prog-rock and prog-metal community. The dual-guitar attack of Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier coupled with Mark Mitchell’s work on the bass creates a sense of controlled chaos–counterpoint if one will. As much is going on just between the trio it is obvious that quite a bit of thought went into each part. That is especially obvious as Mitchell complements both drummer J.C. Bryant and his fellow guitarists. Speaking of Bryant, his ability to keep time while handling the rather difficult polyrhythmic patterns throughout is just as impressive here. The end result of all four musicians’ talents together is a song that comes across as one part Dream Theater and one part Meshuggah. It is a song that was definitely the perfect choice to open this album and easily one of the album’s best moments. That says plenty considering just how much there is to say to the positive of all ten of this album’s impressive compositions.

‘The Winged Bull’ is a solid, impressive opener for STS’ latest full-length studio recording. That is because of the talent exhibited by each of the band’s members by themselves and as a collective unit. The effect of the band’s collective talents is a song that sounds like controlled chaos in the best possible manner and that conjures thoughts of Dream Theater and Meshuggah over the course of its nearly four and a half-minute run time. While it is in its own right an impressive part of the album’s whole, it is of course just one example of what makes the band’s latest offering such an impressive record. ‘Oort Cloud,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is yet another example of what makes V such an impressive effort from a band that is part of the future of prog-rock and prog-metal. That is because it is one of those pieces that puts on display the band’s modern jazz influences, as noted earlier. The song opens with a decidedly difficult riff from bassist Mark Mitchell. It’s not some speed metal riff or anything of that sort. Rather it’s the type of lick that conjures thoughts of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius. Michell executes that opening with the utmost expertise and continues to hold his own as the song progresses through its roughly five and a half-minute run time, too. His are not the only talents worth noting in this song. Drummer J.C. Bryant joins Mitchell as the song’s other central musician. Bryant shows just as much talent here as at any point throughout the album as it requires far more control being that it is not nearly as intense as those songs.

Both ‘The Winged Bull’ and ‘Oort Cloud’ are in their own right impressive additions to the whole of V. That is because both songs show in their own way the diversity of the band members’ talents and influences. They show once more that despite its label as a prog-metal band, it is obviously so much more than that. They are just two ways in which the band exhibits that diversity and diversity of talent in this record. ‘Kestrel,’ which also comes later in the record’s run, is one more example of the reach of the band members’ talents and in turn the diversity of the record’s sound. It is a heavy song. There is no denying that. However, what is truly interesting here is that for all of its heaviness, it is still is not just one of those adrenaline-fueled, thousand mile-per-hour pieces that allowed the band to just ground and pound for lack of better worked. Rather it is a piece that obviously required a certain amount of attention because of its changing time signatures. It is a piece that built right from its opening bars until its abrupt but solid ending. It requires audiences to really listen to the song in whole to appreciate its depth. In appreciating that depth, listeners will agree that said depth makes clear why ‘Kestrel’ is one more of V’s highest points. Together with ‘The Winged Bull’ and ‘Oort Cloud’ all three songs present in full clarity why V is yet another impressive recording from STS and why it is a triple threat of an offering from one of the leaders of progressive music’s next generation.

Scale The Summit is one of the leading acts in progressive music’s next generation. That has already been made clear through the band’s first four records. Its latest full-length studio effort V strengthens that argument even more. That is because the ten tracks that make up the body of the record stand out from the compositions included in the band’s previous records and from each other within the course of this album. All three of the songs noted here are each prime examples of just how much the record’s songs stand out. That is not to discount any of the album’s other songs either. All ten tracks could be used as examples of the record’s solidity. That taken into consideration V shows itself to be a triple threat of a record. It is a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock records, best new hard rock/metal albums and in turn the year’s best new albums overall. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via STS’ official website at http://www.scalethesummit.com and its official online store at http://www.scalethesummitstore.com. More information on V is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://www.scalethesummit.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scalethesummit

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.

Monuments Releases Summer Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The members of Monuments announced Thursday that band will hit the road this summer in support of its latest album.

Amanuensis, the first for the band on Century Media Records, will be released July 8th in North America. The band’s tour in support of its new album kicks off Tuesday, July 15th in Springfield, MA. Also along for the ride will be Scale The Summit, Glasscloud, Erra, and Reflections.

The band’s current tour schedule includes thirty-seven scheduled dates counting its opening date in Springfield, MA. The schedule also includes a performance at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro, North Carolina on Wednesday, August 13th. Tickets for that performance can be ordered online now at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/homePageSearch.do?method=showPerformanceDetail&performance_id=1816123&search_source=etix. The band’s current list of tour dates is included below.

07/15 @ Empire – Springfield, VA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ofttvxz
07/16 @ The Barbary – Philadelphia, PA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/owfbym9
07/17 @ Webster Underground – Hartford, CT – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/md2sqg7
07/18 @ Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pfaavxn
07/19 @ Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nt3ymfl
07/20 @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/njzv4f4
07/21 @ Bogies – Albany, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/okz3yuz
07/22 @ La Sala Rossa – Montreal, QC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nbkb764
07/23 @ Hard Luck – Toronto, ON – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pub4jqv
07/24 @ The Stache – Grand Rapids, MI – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/p93dtle
07/25 @ Reggie’s – Chicago, IL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/q3v3xlu
07/26 @ The Garage – Burnsville, MN – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/o8qnc8d
07/27 @ West End Cultural Centre – Winnipeg, MB – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/qdjo3ef
07/28 @ The Exchange – Regina, SK – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nsw6xst
07/29 @ The Den, Calgary, AB – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/omstu3a
07/30 @ Kelowna, BC – Rutland Centennial Hall – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/q7xnavh
07/31 @ The Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nsnb82j
08/01 @ Chop Suey – Seattle, WA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nmtmstp
08/02 @ Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/l6ecot8
08/03 @ Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbgahas
08/04 @ The Lyric – Los Angeles, CA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kf25ck8
08/05 @ Southern Nevada Sports Centre – Las Vegas, NV –

Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kxadqb2

08/06 @ The Underground – Mesa, AZ – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/m74l2ce
08/07 @ Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pa958qv
08/08 @ Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/krzdn94
08/09 @ Jackpot – Lawrence, KS – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/olsfk6w
08/10 @ Fubar – St. Louis, MO – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nfy48he
08/11 @ Park Street Saloon – Columbus, OH – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nk7lr6a
08/12 @ The Concourse – Knoxville, TN – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nrg93jh
08/13 @ Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ouxnc2n
08/14 @ 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ppx4azw
08/15 @ Propaganda – Lake Worth, FL – Tickets: TBA
08/16 @ Backbooth – Orlando, FL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kwh6ylh
08/17 @ Vinyl At Center Stage – Atlanta, GA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/lml7qrm
08/19 @ Tomcats – Fort Worth, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/l4gdtzd
08/20 @ Red 7 – Austin, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbmn53s
08/21 @ Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbvhuu5

Audiences can pre-order Amanuensis now online at http://www.cmdistro.com/Search/monuments. And the video for the band’s latest single ‘The Alchemist’ is available for viewing online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKB5enjIN4&feature=youtu.be. More information on Monuments, its upcoming album, tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/thisismonuments and http://twitter.com/thisismonuments. 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.

Sound Of Contact Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  InsideOut Music

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Sound of Contact is coming to the United States this Spring and Summer.

The band has confirmed that it will take part in the Moody Blues Cruise and the Cruise to the Edge this Spring before embarking on a handful of dates late next month.  The Moody Blues Cruise sets sail Wednesday, April 8th from Miami, Florida.  It will take guests through the Bahamas and to Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos before returning to Miami on Monday, April 7th.  Sound of Contact will join The Moody Blues, Starship, Little River Band, and special guest Roger Daltry of The Who among a number of other artists and bands.  More information on the Moody Blues Cruise is available online at http://moodiescruise.com and http://www.facebook.com/moodiescruise.

Band founder Simon Collins and his band mates will have a quick turnaround once they return to port from the Moody Blues Cruise.  That is because they head right back out to sea Wednesday, April 8th for the Cruise to the Edge.  That cruise will take guests Cozumel by way of Miami and Honduras.  It will leave port Wednesday, April 8th and return to Miami Saturday, April 12th.  Sound of Contact will join YES, Marillion, Queensryche, Scale the Summit, and a number of other acts that are scheduled to perform during the cruise.  More information on the Cruise to the Edge is available online at http://cruisetotheedge.com, http://www.facebook.com/cruisetotheedge, and http://twitter.com/cruisetotheedge.

Once Sound of Contact returns from its marathon cruise run, the band will take some much needed down time before kicking off its North American tour April 26th.  The band will kick off its North American tour at SIR Studios in Los Angeles, California.  The band’s complete cruise and tour schedule is listed below.

Wednesday – April 2, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Thursday – April 3, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Friday – April 4, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Saturday April 5, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Sunday – April 6, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise
Monday – April 7, 2014 Moody Blues Cruise / Cruise To The Edge
Tuesday – April 8, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Wednesday – April 9, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Thursday – April 10, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Friday – April 11, 2014 Cruise To The Edge
Saturday – April 12, 2014 Cruise To The Edge

Saturday – April 26, 2014 Los Angeles, CA, America – SIR Studios
Wednesday – April 30, 2014 Quebec City, QC, Canada – Le Cabaret du Capitole
Thursday – May 1, 2014 Toronto, ON, Canada – Rock Pile East
Friday – May 2, 2014 Chicago, IL, America – Reggies Rock Club
Saturday – May 3, 2014 Gettysburg, PA, America – RoSFest

Ticket information for the band’s upcoming performances will be announced soon.  More information on tickets and Sound of Contact is available online at http://www.facebook.com/soundofcontact.  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.

Scale The Summit Announces New U.S. Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Scale The Summit is currently making its way across Europe in support of its most recent release, The Migration.  As it makes its way across the continent, the band’s members have announced a small handful of headlining dates for 2014.  The first of the dates is set for Wednesday, February 26th in San Antonio, Texas.  From there, the tour will snake its way through the West Coast and Midwest.  The band’s most current tour schedule is listed below.

 

2/16 San Antonio, TX – Limelight

2/18 Tucson, AZ – The Rock

2/26 Fullerton, CA – Slidebar #

2/28 Reno, NV – Jub Jubs #

3/1 Salt Lake City, UT Shred Shed #

3/2 Boise, ID – The Shredder #

3/3 Richland, WA – Rays Golden Lion #

3/4 Spokane, WA – The Hop #

# with Hail The Sun

When and if new tour dates are announced, fans will be able to find them online through the band’s official Facebook page and website at http://www.facebook.com/scalethesummit and http://www.scalethesummit.com.  Fans can also follow the band via Twitter at http://twitter.com/scalethesummit.  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.