Tommy Victor Is In His Prime On His Latest Prong Recording

Courtesy: Steamhammer/SPV Records

Later this month, Prong will release its latest album to the masses, and the record, Zero Days, is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  The record, the 12th full-length studio recording from Tommy Victor and his ever-rotating roster of fellow musicians, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Prong – heavy yet infectious riffs and grooves, and equally hard-hitting lyrical content. That is evidenced early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Divide and Conquer,’ which will be discussed shortly.  The full-on thrash riffs and social commentary of ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ shows just as much as ‘Divide and Conquer’ what makes this record another enjoyable offering from Prong.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ also serves, with its musical arrangement and lyrical content, why this record represents everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band.  It is hardly the last of the songs included in this record that serves that purpose, too.  The record boasts 10 other songs that could just as easily be used to show why Prong has crafted another solid offering in Zero Days and why it is.  The whole of the album’s 13 songs shows the album to be, again, one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Veteran hard rock outfit Prong’s latest album Zero Days is everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band and then some.  The album, Tommy Victor’s 12th album under the Prong moniker, utilizes a solid mix of musical arrangements and hard-hitting lyrical content to make it one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

That is evidenced early on in the driving composition ‘Divide And Conquer.’  The melodic hard rock arrangement at the song’s center harkens back to some of the best songs included in the band’s 1996 album Rude Awakening and its forebear, Cleansing (1994).  That is evidenced through the song’s straight forward guitar arrangement and Victor’s own vocal delivery style.  Drummer Art Cruz’s own work behind the kit adds to that feel even more as does that of bassist Mike Longworth.  The whole of those parts makes this arrangement one of the album’s best musical compositions.  The songs’ lyrical content builds on the foundation created by the arrangement and strengthens the song even more.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Divide and Conquer’ strengthens the foundation created through the song’s musical arrangement because it hits just as hard as the arrangement with its commentary. Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “There’s no relief/There’s just regret/Want to forget/Just can’t believe/Really don’t want any part of that/Just another bad experience/For what’s positive or negative/Maybe it’s all just relative.”  He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You can’t go through life without these conditions/Divide and conquer/You can always rely on opposition/Face the sorrow/You can’t go through life without some division/Divide and conquer…”  This comes across as a message about accepting the good and bad in life rather than just the good.  This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  That interpretation is made just as much as Victor sings in the song’s second verse, “You only see what you gotta get/You cannot get what you cannot see/Always forced into compromise/Always have to make the sacrifice/Things are not what they seem to be/Living in a false reality.”  From here the song returns to its chorus before making its way to its end, reminding listeners that negative will always come with positive, and that people should expect both sides in life; that only seeing one side is close-minded.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark of being right.  Regardless, it can be agreed by everyone that whatever the message, it definitely is hard-hitting.  When that message is coupled with the song’s driving musical arrangement, the urgency of understanding the message is driven home even more, making this song both musically and lyrically a work that so many people (especially in today’s world) should hear, proving why it is such an important addition to Zero Days.  It is not the album’s only stand out song.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ is another of the songs that serves to show why Zero Days is another solid offering from Prong, despite what some critics might have people believe.

‘Divide and Conquer’ is one of the best examples of how much Tommy Victor and company have to offer audiences on its latest album Zero Days.  Its driving musical arrangement and equally hard-hitting lyrical content couple to make the song a work that will entertain audiences while also leaving them thinking quite a bit.  The impact from the song’s musical and lyrical content makes it only one of the album’s best additions.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ hits just as hard as ‘Divide and Conquer.’  Just as with the aforementioned work, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which instantly conjures thoughts of Slayer, Hatebreed and others of that ilk.  That speaks for itself.  Considering that, the next step here is to examine the song’s lyrical content, which at least to this critic seems to be a commentary about the bigotry and racism that has become far too prevalent across the nation ever since the rise to power of the nation’s current “leader.”  That is inferred right off the top as Victor sings, “Forced into tolerance of what we disdain/Being irrational is how we exist/Someone goes around and it makes no sense/They are labeled and then disgraced/Caught in the ignorance and try to explain.”  He goes on to bring out the foolishness of the hateful views that are being expressed by singing, “I don’t care if you exist…Don’t f****** tell me it is what it is.”  He goes on in similar fashion from here with the same musical and lyrical fire, indicting those close-minded masses of the nation (and the world possibly) pointing out the dangers of their views, and the foolishness of those views.  It is a powerful statement both musically and lyrically that will be timely as long as such people and views exist in the world.  Considering this, it is clearly evident why this song is so important to the overall presentation of Prong’s new album. It is not the last of the record’s key compositions either.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important songs.

‘Divide and Conquer’ and ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ are both key additions to Prong’s 12th full-length studio recording.  That is thanks to the songs’ powerhouse musical arrangements and the equally hard-hitting commentaries contained within each song.  The whole of those elements within each song makes each song a clear example of what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  They are not the album’s only key works, though.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important works.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which can easily be compared to works from the likes of Fear Factory, White Chapel and other similar acts with its heavy, crunching, down-tuned guitars, pounding drums and equally heavy bass line.  Keeping this in mind, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out so distinctly from the record’s other tracks.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ seems to this critic at least as a commentary about those people who think themselves so much better than everyone else.  That is inferred as Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “A victim/Of the system/Who gives a damn about your needs/Won’t listen/To criticism/Disgust for everyone who cheats/My heart is cold/I cannot pray/I can’t look way/What may unfold/Your dismay/Just total disdain/Self/Righteous/Indignation.”  That seeming commentary continues in the song’s second verse as Victor sings, “No wisdom/So distant/A great sense of psychic grief/existence/Of symptoms/distaste for everything that’s cheap/It’s always known/All the demands/The helping hands/have no control/What you don’t have/Gets way out of hand.”  Once again, this is all just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  It only seems to this critic that this song, lyrically, addresses those people who have that unnecessary God complex of sorts.  Sadly, there are far too many people of this sort around the world, and if that is indeed what Victor is addressing here, he does quite the job of addressing the matter.  Keeping that in mind, the song’s musical arrangement expertly couples with the power in the song’s lyrics and Victor’s own powerhouse vocal delivery.  It delivers a message of pure anger aimed at those people in question; a message that, again if that is the intended message, definitely hits home in a big way, showing once more why this song is such a key addition to Zero Days.  It is hardly the last of the songs that could be examined to show what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  Any of the other 10 songs that fill out the rest of the album could be examined just as easily as this work and the previously discussed works.  Considering this, the whole of this record shows Prong at its prime; a work that will definitely impress any of the band’s fans new or old.  They make the record a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Prong’s latest full-length studio recording Zero Days shows Tommy Victor at his prime along with the band that he founded so many years ago.  It is a record that shows despite all of the band’s lineup and label changes, is still as relevant and powerful today as it was in its infancy.  That is exhibited from start to finish through the album’s powerhouse musical arrangements and its equally hard-hitting lyrical content.  The two elements together make the album in whole one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It will be available Friday, July 28 via Steamhammer/SPV Records.  More information on Zero Days is available online now along with all of Prong’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.prongmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

 

 

 

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Dark Horse Comics To Release New Slayer Comic Book

Courtesy: Dark Horse Comics

Courtesy: Dark Horse Comics

First Slayer conquered the metal realm.  Now it has its eyes set on another realm.

The band will see its very first comic book released later this month via Dark Horse Comics.  The comic, Repentless #1, will be released January 25. It will be the first in a 3-book series.  Audiences can get a six-page preview of issue #1 now here.

Repentless is based on the videos from the band’s hit 2015 album by the same name.  The videos were directed by B.J. McDonnell (Hatchet III) and scripted by director/producer Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse, The Venture Bros., The Death of Superman Lives).

Front man Tom Araya said the story presented in Repentless is meant to carry on the message presented by the band so many times in previous albums.

“We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other,” Araya said.

The inside artwork for Slayer’s new comic book was illustrated by “Twilight Zone” artist Guiu Vilanova.  Issue #1’s cover art was designed by Eisner Award-winning British comics artist Glenn Fabry.  Eric Powell (The Goon, Hillbilly) designed the cover art for Issue #1’s variant cover.

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

 

 

 

Website: http://www.slayer.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Slayer

 

 

 

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Anthrax Is Coming To ‘Late Night’

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Anthrax is coming to Late Night later this month.

The band has announced that it will perform on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers on Wednesday, August 24th.  It is part of the band’s 35th anniversary celebration.
The band will perform its new single ‘Monster at the End’ during its debut appearance on the program.  The song is the latest song to be released from the band’s latest album For All Kings, which was released earlier this year via Megaforce Records.  The song will start hitting radio stations nationwide next Tuesday, August 16th.

Early next month Anthrax will join Death Angel and fellow “Big Four” band Slayer for a North American fall tour.  That tour launches Friday, September 9th in Cleveland, Ohio and runs through Thursday, October 27th.  The tour includes performances in Louisiana, North Carolina, Idaho, Texas and a number of other cities.  Audiences can see the band’s full tour schedule online now here.  More information on the band’s tour, its upcoming Late Night performance, and all of its latest news is available online now at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

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Suicidal Tendencies Added To Ozzfest Meets Knotfest Lineup

Courtesy:  Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Organizers with the 2016 Ozzfest Meets Knotfest have added another band to the mega-festival’s lineup.

Veteran hard rock band Suicidal Tendencies has been added to the lineup for the inaugural Ozzfest Meets Knotfest.  It marks the first time that the band has ever taken the stage at Ozzfest in any capacity.  The band will take the place of Children of Bodom, which was originally scheduled to perform on the first day of the double-header festival. The updated lineup for the festival is noted below. Audiences will note that there is even a stage dedicated to late Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister at this year’s festival.

 

OZZFEST Line-up

Saturday, September 24

 

MAIN STAGE:  Black Sabbath, Disturbed, Megadeth, Opeth, Black Label Society, and Rival Sons.

LEMMY STAGE:  Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, DevilDriver, Goatwhore, Huntress, and Dead Cross.

NUCLEAR BLAST STAGE: Municipal Waste, Kataklysm, Nails, The Shrine, and Still Rebel.

KNOTFEST Line-up

Sunday, September 25

 

MAIN STAGE:  Slipknot, Slayer, Amon Amarth, Anthrax, and Trivium.

LEMMY STAGE:  Sabaton, Suicide Silence, Overkill, Emmure, Butcher Babies, and Man with A Mission.

NUCLEAR BLAST STAGE:  Whitechapel, Combichrist, Carnifex, Loathe, SIM, and ONI.

 

Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is currently scheduled to be held Saturday, September 24th and Sunday, September 25th at San Manuel Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino California.  As a special holiday celebration, fans can purchase single 4-day ticket packs for $84.  The limited-time special is going on now and ends July 4th at 11:59pm PT.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.ozzfest.com and http://www.knotfest.com.  More information on the inaugural Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is available online at:

 

 

OZZFEST

 

Website: http://www.Ozzfest.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theozzfest

 

 

 

KNOTFEST

 

Website: http://www.knotfest.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/knotfest

 

 

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All Hail The Yeti Announces Summer Headlining Tour

Courtesy: Minus Head Records/Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Minus Head Records/Adrenaline PR

All Hail The Yeti is heading out on the road this summer.

The band has announced that it will embark on a four-week headlining tour this summer in support of its latest album Screams From A Black Wilderness.  The tour launches Friday, July 29th in Tempe, Arizona and runs through Friday, August 26th in Salt Lake City, Utah.  St. Louis, Missouri-based Final Drive will serve as direct support for All Hail The Yeti on the upcoming tour.  AHTY front man Connor Garritty noted Final Drive’s addition to the tour in a statement about the tour along with a note about what fans can expect in the band’s upcoming live dates.  “We are very excited to be back on the road doing what we love. It’s been a while but we want to thank all our fans for being so patient. You will not be disappointed!,” he said about the tour.  In regards to the addition of Final Drive to the tour he said, We signed up Final Drive from St. Louis to directly support us every night. They are a great band with tons of energy! We hope to see all of our followers out there – the storm is coming! HAIL!”  The schedule for the bands’ upcoming tour is noted below.

 

ALL HAIL THE YETI Headline Tour Dates:

7/29/2016 – Tempe, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto

7/30/2016 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Underground

7/31/2016 – Lubbock, TX @ Depot O Bar

8/1/2016 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats

8/2/2016 – Houston, TX @ BFE

8/3/2016 – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar

8/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK @ Downtown Lounge

8/5/2016 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room

8/6/2016 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird (Final Drive headline)

8/8/2016 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Castle Lounge

8/9/2016 – Billings, MT @ The Rail Yard

8/10/2016 – Missoula, MT @ The Dark Horse

8/12/2016 – Edmonton, AB Canada @The Brix

8/14/2016 – Calgary, AB Canada @Distortion

8/15/2016 – Canmore, AB Canada @ Canmore Hotel

8/18/2016 – Vancouver, BC Canada @ Cobalt Hotel

8/20/2016 – Anchorage, AK @ Koot’s (no Final Drive)

8/22/2016 – Seattle, WA @ Funhouse

8/23/2016 – Portland, OR @ Ash Street

8/24/2016 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder

8/25/2016 – Idaho Falls, ID @ The Falls

8/26/2016 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar (merging with another tour, NEID headlines)

 

In related news, AHTY bassist Nicholas Diltz has launched a new side project dubbed Day of Errors.  The band features Joe Amodeal on guitar and legendary drummer Bill Ward (ex-Black Sabbath) behind the kit.  The band will perform TONIGHT at 8pm at Lucky Strike Live in Los Angeles, CA.  The show is 21+ only.  Doors open at 8:00pm.  More information on tonight’s show can be obtained at http://www.luckystrikelive.com.  As an added note, while Diltz has started this new band, he is still a full-time member of All Hail The Yeti and will be alongside his AHTY band mates on the “Haunted and Damaged” Tour.

All Hail The Yeti released its sophomore album Screams From A Black Wilderness this past April.  The album was produced by Matt Hyde (Soulfly, Deftones, Slayer).  It can be ordered online now via Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes.  The band currently has three music videos streaming online now.  They are ‘Daughter of the Morning Star,’ ‘Before The Flames’ (Part 1 from Screams From A Black Wilderness) and ‘After The Great Fire’ (Part 2 from the band’s 2012 self-titled debut).  All three can be viewed online now at the noted links.  More information on those videos is available online now along with all of the latest updates on AHTY’s upcoming tour, news, and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

 

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You Can Join The Revolution Courtesy Of Phil’s Picks!

Courtesy:  AEG Live

Courtesy: AEG Live

AEG Live is bringing another new music festival to audiences in the northeast.

This fall, AEG Live will debut the new music festival, the Revolution Rock Festival.  The festival, fueled by Monster Energy, will be held Saturday, September 17th outdoors at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.  And Phil’s Picks is giving YOU the readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the one-day festival.  All you have to do is message Phil’s Picks at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks, telling me who your favorite band on the bill is and favorite song from that band.  On Friday, August 5th I will pull the lucky winner’s name.  From there, the winner’s name will be sent to my contact, who will then put the winner’s name in him/her.  Entrants should be reminded that this does not include travel, hotel, or food.  This is only for admission to the festival.  The lineup for the inaugural festival includes: Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Volbeat, Chevelle, Of Mice & Men, Anthrax, Ghost, Killswitch Engage, Sevendust, The Amity Affliction, KYNG, Nothing More, Twelve Foot Ninja, Crobot, and Devour The Day.

General admission tickets for the Revolution Rock Festival are currently $59.50 each (plus fees).  That puts the retail value of these two tickets at well over $100.  After fees, the cost reaches close to $150 just for two.  Considering that price, getting to see the festival for free is a big prize for two lucky people.  For everyone else, tickets can be purchased online at http://www.RevolutionRockFestival.com.  Revolution Rock Festival is produced by AEG Live, which also produces Rock on the Range, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival, Rocklahoma and many more.  More information on the Revolution Rock Festival is available online now at:

 

 

Websitehttp://www.RevolutionRockFestival

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Revolutionrockfestival-1008445009270982/?fref=nf

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/revrockfest

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online tohttp://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 athttps://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

AEG Debuting Another New Rock Festival This Fall

Courtesy:  AEG Live

Courtesy: AEG Live

AEG Live is bringing another new music festival to audiences in the northeast.

This fall, AEG Live will debut the new music festival, the Revolution Rock Festival.  The festival, fueled by Monster Energy, will be held Saturday, September 17th outdoors at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.  The lineup for the inaugural festival includes: Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, Volbeat, Chevelle, Of Mice & Men, Anthrax, Ghost, Killswitch Engage, Sevendust, The Amity Affliction, KYNG, Nothing More, Twelve Foot Ninja, Crobot, and Devour The Day.  Joe Litvag is Executive Producer of the Revolution Rock Festival for AEG Live.  He discussed the work and planning put in to make the festival a reality in a recent interview, and the hopes for the festival’s future.  “We’ve spent the better part of two years searching for the perfect location to create a festival that is just for the rabid rock fans of New England,” he said.  “After seeing the incredible property and amenities offered at Foxwoods Resort Casino, I knew we had finally found a home. It’s really easy to get to from just about anywhere in the region, and the fans can make a whole weekend out of it with a top-notch resort, golf, spa, shopping, great restaurants, and of course the gaming. Our hope is that Revolution Rock Festival will become an institution for rock fans of the Northeast and will be thought of as ‘New England’s rock festival’ for years to come!”

Foxwoods President and CEO Felix Rappaport echoed Litvag’s sentiment in a statement regarding the new partnership between AEG Live and Foxwoods Resort Casino.  “We are thrilled to be partnering with entertainment powerhouse AEG Live to bring the Revolution Rock Festival to Mashantucket and Foxwoods Resort Casino,” he said.  “Foxwoods has been at the forefront of entertainment since we opened in 1992, and events like this festival will continue to make Foxwoods the market leader.”

Specially priced pre-sale tickets go on sale this Wednesday, June 8th at 10am EDT.  The pre-sale will run through this Friday, June 10th at 9:59am EDT.  They can be purchased online at http://www.RevolutionRockFestival.com.  Organizers have made a password for the special pre-sale available online only through the festival’s social media pages.  The public on-sale for tickets begins Friday, June 10th at 10am EDT.  Pricing for both pre-sale and public sale tickets is noted in full below.

 

  • Presale ticket prices are as follows (plus fees):
  • General Admission: $59.50
  • General Admission Ticket 4-Pack: $198.00
  • At the general onsale, tickets will be priced as follows:
  • General Admission: $79.50
  • General Admission Ticket 4-Pack: $269.50

 

A very limited number of Foxwoods Resort Casino VIP Hotel packages for two and four individuals will be available online with regular admission tickets.  They will include: VIP Lounge Access, hotel stay for Friday and Saturday night, and a $25 merchandise voucher for each individual.  More information on the VIP packages is available online at http://www.RevolutionRockFestival.com.  An equally limited number of discounted ticket 4-packs will be available for active military personnel through the festival’s partner GovX.

Revolution Rock Festival is produced by AEG Live, which also produces Rock on the Range, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Festival, Rocklahoma and many more.  More information on the Revolution Rock Festival is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.RevolutionRockFestival

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Revolutionrockfestival-1008445009270982/?fref=nf

Twitter: http://twitter.com/revrockfest

 

 

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.