Altostratus Debuts ‘Persea Americana’ Video

Courtesy: Altostratus/Earshot Media

Prog-metal band Altostratus debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘Persea Americana‘ Friday.  The song is featured in the band’s latest album, Complete The Connection and is the third single from the album. The wholly tongue-in-cheek video follows the final days of the life of “Avocado Man.”

On one end, the video presents plenty of laughs for audiences with the very setup of a man in an avocado suit responding to orders for guacamole.  On another level, it will touch audiences deeply with its underlying lyrical theme of accepting our mortality while also entertaining audiences with its heavy musical arrangement.  The arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Tesseract, Periphery and Animals As Leaders.

Bassist Andrew Smith talked about the new video in a recent interview.

“Persea Americana” and the preceding short film, “Holy Guacamole (The Consummation)” tell the story of the conception, birth, life and death of the aptly named, Avocado Man,” he said. “The original story for the video was originally intended as a framework to match the dynamics of the track but as we started creating the video and the ideas started flowing, themes of death and acceptance started weaving their way into it. The short film shows the power of will and love, and what lengths we’ll go to for the people we love. The music video, on the other hand, is about the inevitability of death, and the anxiety that comes with realizing your own mortality. Avocado Man was never meant to be, and once he and the people he loves come to terms with this, only then can they find peace. Ultimately though, it’s about an Avocado that works in the fast food industry and the spooky spells that were conjured to bring him to life.”

The teaser movie for the aforementioned short film is streaming here.

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

 

Website: http://altostratusband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/altostratusuk

 

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

TesseracT Claims Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Kscope records

This year has been a truly productive time for the metal community.  Veteran acts, up-and-comers and even the underground have produced offerings that have given the metal masses more than enough reason to put their horns in the air all year long.  The most notable acts who have released standout albums this year include, and are not limited to  from All Hail The Yeti, Judas Priest and Artillery just to name a few bands.

Keeping this in mind, rock and metal critics the world over will have to agree that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings was a monumental task.  That was especially the case for this critic.  This critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums features new albums from bands from both sides of the Atlantic and from the mainstream and the underground.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list from Phil’s Picks is none other than the British prog-metal outfit TesseracT, Sonder.  The band’s latest offering is both musically and lyrically a truly in-depth offering that holds its own in the metal community and the prog community.

Second place this year goes to Florida’s own Nonpoint.  The band’s aptly-titled is a powerhouse offering from the veteran hard rock band that shows Nonpoint as a band at the top of its game both musically and lyrically.

Judas Priest takes the bronze this year with its new album Firepower.  This one was not an easy choice to make, as Nonpoint, Judas Priest and TesseracT are all outstanding bands in their own right.  Firepower harkens back to some of Judas Priest’s best work from days long gone, and is such a welcome album.  With lyrics that pay tribute to the military, that make a bold statement of standing up for one’s self and more, it is that much stronger, so it was not with ease that the album ended up in third.

Also featured in this year’s list are new albums from Artillery, All Hail The Yeti and Soulfly just to name a few more. As always, the top 10 albums are the main list while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  With all of this in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. TesseracT — Sonder
  2. Nonpoint — X
  3. Judas Priest — Firepower
  4. Between The Buried and Me — Automata
  5. Soulfly — Ritual
  6. Sevendust — All I See Is War
  7. All Hail The Yeti — Highway Crosses
  8. Exmortus — The Sound of Steel
  9. Artillery — The Face of Fear
  10. The Amsterdam Red Light District — Sapere Aude
  11. Ice Nine Kills — The Silver Scream
  12. Black Label Society — Grimmest Hits
  13. Unearth — Extinction(s)
  14. Atreyu — In Our Wake
  15. Zardonic — Become

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TesseracT’s New LP ‘Sonder’ Is A Powerhouse Prog-Metal Album

Courtesy: Kscope records

British prog-metal outfit TesseracT has, ever since its inception some 15 years ago, made quite the name for itself in the rock and metal community.  That is thanks to the music that the band has crafted and presented over the course of three albums and one live recording.  That music has stood completely apart from its contemporaries both musically and stylistically.  Its fourth album, Sonder – which was released this past Friday, April 20 – is no exception to that rule.  The eight-song, 36-minue album takes the best elements of TesseracT’s own past works and crosses that with the best elements of Tool and Leprous for an album that is just as certain as its early records to impress listeners.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in the album’s opener ‘Luminary.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘King,’ the albums second single (and the album’s second song in its sequence), also serves to show why this record is another impressive offering from TesseracT.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Mirror Image,’ with its deep, emotional musical and lyrical content is yet another example of what makes this record another solid effort from TesseracT.  It is hardly the last example of what makes the album so strong, too.  Each of the album’s other tracks not directly discussed here shows in its own way why the album stands out.  Between those songs and the ones more directly noted, the album in whole proves to be one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Prog-metal TesseracT has been making music and touring together for the better part of 15 years.  On the surface that might seem like a long time, but the fact that the band has released only three albums and one live recording over the course of that time sys that the band is still very young.  The release of its fourth album this past Friday, however, gives great hope for the band’s future.  It is an album that proves (just as with the band’s previous trio of albums) that this band is one of the biggest names in prog-metal’s (and metal’s in general) next generation.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in its lead single and opener, ‘Luminary.’  Musically speaking, the song conjures thoughts of Leprous, Tool and Tesseract’s own, more familiar material.  That is evidenced through the controlled chaos in the song’s dual guitar arrangement, its low-end (courtesy of Amos Williams) and front man Daniel Tompkins’ own vocal delivery.  Drummer Jay Postones’ work behind the kit is reminiscent of Mike Portnoy with its polyrhythmic patterns.  The whole of those items combined makes this song’s arrangement a powerful composition to say the very least.  At the most, it is more proof of why TesseracT is one of the elite names in prog-metal.

In regards to its lyrical theme, it is just as powerful a song.  Tompkins explained in a recent interview that the song “conceptually explores a deep and devouring sense of insignificance, which ties into the overall theme behind Sonder.”  It does just that and quite well at that as Tompkins sings, “You could raise the dead/With those terribly troublesome eyes/Maybe you’ll always be bad/Maybe you’ll always be the same/Are you alone/Locked inside/That prison in your head/You walk through the crowd/Lost in the sound/Invisible to every passing eye.”  That lead verse and chorus paints quite the vivid picture to illustrate exactly what Tompkins said.  The same can be said of the song’s second verse in which Tompkins sings, “This waking life is not what it seems to be/No time to talk/No air to breathe/Reminisce the scent of a single flower/What butchers cleave/The wolves devour/But if you consume it/You will surely die/When you’re buried with your tenderness/You’ll drag it to your solitary grave.”  This collectively shows the impact of what that sense of insignificance can and often does do to a person, emotionally and psychologically.  The coupling of that powerful statement with the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement makes this work both a strong start for Sonder and a clear example of why the album is such a strong new effort from the band.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show why this record is such a strong offering from TesseracT.  The album’s second single (and second song) ‘King’ is another example of what makes this record stand out.

‘King,’ much like ‘Luminary’ proves so powerful in part because of its musical arrangement.  The heaviness for which TesseracT has come to be known is here once again.  As has been noted by others, it is another work here that joins elements of the arrangements from the band’s debut album One (2011) and Polaris (2017).  The dual-guitar attack of Acle Kahney and James Monteith forms a solid foundation for the song.  Both in the full-on heavy moments and the softer moments (which are heavy in their own right thanks to the guitarists’ control) their work stands out so distinctly.  Tompkins’ vocal delivery here can so easily be compared to that of tool front man Maynard James Keenan.  This includes even his screams.  Williams’ low-end and Postones’ work behind the kit puts the finishing touch to the arrangement, joining forces with the other lines to make this arrangement so powerful both in its heavy and more reserved moments.  The power of those moments together joins with the song’s equally powerful lyrical theme to make the song even more hard-hitting.

As Tompkins noted in an interview about the song, “Far too often, we find ourselves lead into conflict and inner turmoil.  Life is surely a battle.  History has a bad habit of repeating itself, and when living with the constraints of an onerous life, it’s easy to overlook the greatest gift we’ve ever received: life itself.”  This message is highlighted as Tompkins sings, “You died within me/The boatmen came to sail me down the river/Bind me up with visions of a blind man/I operate this way/Turn nothing into gold/Death on such an ugly day/You dine like a king on top of the world.”  This lead verse hints at Tompkins’ statement of “ourselves” being “lead into conflict and inner turmoil” and the ease of overlooking “life itself.”  It is illustrated even more distinctly as he sings in the song’s second verse, “You show us all/That forgiveness is the weakest call/And now revenge against that grudge inside your tiny head/Remove the crown of absolution/Let the retribution fly/The king has all/The king has all/But words can kill and main and take their toll/And you massacre my dreams at night/And eat away at every thought/Until we take control/The king has all/Totalitarian and carnivore.”  That final statement, “you massacre my dreams at night/and eat away at every thought/until we take control” is critical because it would seem that is Tompkins stressing that the history repeating itself will continue until we do something to keep it from continuing.  As he noted in the song’s chorus that it is possible to take that control and say to those forces, “They’re taking away the freedom/To be just you/But the sun always shines for you/They’re taking away the freedom to be just you/You’d kill to find me/But the crown above my head is deadly.”  That is someone finally taking control and realizing the ultimate gift, which leads ultimately to stopping that proverbial cycle of violence.  The manner in which Tompkins’ presented the overall message is so powerful in its own right.  When it is coupled with the equally powerful impact of the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements together make perfectly clear why this single is one more example of Sonder’s overall strength.  It still is not the last of the album’s most integral compositions, either. ‘Mirror Image’ is one more of the album’s most notable entries.

‘Mirror Image,’ is so notable in part because of its own musical arrangement, just as with the previously discussed songs.  Unlike those songs, this song’s arrangement is heavy because it is not heavy.  Rather, it is a very reserved, contemplative arrangement.  The coupling of the piano, guitars, drums and bass give this song a distinctly ethereal feel, especially in the song’s opening moments.  Even in the arrangement’s more powerful moments, there is still a noticeable reservation that creates its own power here.  The contrast of that feeling to that of the song’s softer moments creates a powerful whole that makes it easily comparable to works from Leprous.  That stark contrast from ‘King’ and ‘Luminary’ yet powerful musical statement in itself does plenty to make this song so strong.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its power.  That is because it presents what seems like a rather familiar topic in the issue of relationships.

The seeming topic of a relationship is inferred as Tompkins sings here, “I’m half crazy/Searching for the sight of you/Hoping that you’d pull me through/The hand of God/you forced me to/I’m half crazy/Longing for the love of you/Begging on my knees to you/Weeping for the honest truth.”  This is only a glimpse into the song’s lyrical content that leads one to believe this song centers on the familiar topic of relationships.  The song’s final verse finds Tompkins singing, “I’ve been dreaming/Love is not an endless thing/Anxious to ignore our feelings/Love is not an endless thing.”  Taking these lines into consideration with the previously noted lines, one has to think that there is little chance this song could, lyrically, be centered on anything but the matter of relationships.  That doubt is lessened even more as Tompkins sings, “Lightning struck into a mirror image of the truth/It keeps me awake/the stars begin to fall/A meditation to absolve/It keeps me awake.  Even in the song’s opening verse, Tompkins sings of seeing “an image of it all” as if to say he sees the bigger picture of his thoughts.  It all comes together.  Keeping this in mind, Tompkins has again found a powerful (and original) way to take on an all too familiar topic.  Considering this along with the power and originality expressed in the other songs noted here, the whole of these songs does plenty to show why Sonder is another strong effort from TesseracTThat is not to discount the other songs not noted here, either.  Each of the album’s other songs does its own part in supporting the noted statement, too.  Keeping this in mind, not only does Sonder prove to be another strong effort from TesseracT, but an other album that is fully deserving of being called another of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

TesseracT’s latest full-length studio recording Sonder may only boast eight songs and run for a total run time of 36 minutes, but over the course of that time, it proves to be another recording proving that TesseracT is one of the elite acts in metal’s next generation.  On that same note, it is a n album that proves both musically and lyrically to be, without doubt, one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Sonder is available online now along with all of TesseracT’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

 

 

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TesseracT Debuts Powerful New ‘King’ Video

Courtesy: Kscope records

TesseracT continues to build anticipation for its next album, Sonder.

The band debuted the video for its latest single, ‘King‘ this past Friday, March 16.  Shot in Wisconsin and co-directed by Kyle Kadow and Steven Cleaveland, the video is a deeply unsettling illustration of the song’s theme, which front man Daniel Tompkins explained centers on needing to simply remind ourselves of simply being alive.

“Far too often, we find ourselves lead into conflict and inner turmoil.  Life is surely a battle, history has a bad habit of repeating itself, and when living with the constraints of an onerous life, it’s easy to overlook the greatest gift we’ve ever received: life itself,” Tompkins said.

Considering the depth of that theme and the manner in which it was illustrated here, it should be noted that viewer discretion is heavily advised, though the video does have a happy ending.  The getting there is the hard part.

Sonder is scheduled to be released April 20 via KScope.  It will be available on separate CD, 2CD and digital.  Vinyl pressings will also be available.

Pre-orders are open now.  Audiences who pre-order the album now will get an instant grat download of ‘King’ and ‘Luminary,’ the album’s lead single.  ‘Luminary’ is streaming online now here.

Sonder‘s full track listing is noted below.

SONDER TRACK LISTING:
“Luminary”
“King”
“Orbital”
“Juno”
“Beneath My Skin”
“Mirror Image”
“Smile”
“The Arrow”

TesseracT will tour in support of Sonder this spring starting April 19 in in Boston, MA.  The band’s tour is currently scheduled to run through May 24 in New York City. A handful of summer festival shows in Europe between May 26 and July 28 and European dates from Nov. 9 to Nov. 25 follow all of those dates.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

TESSERACT ON TOUR:
North America With Plini + Astronoid:

4/19 — Boston, MA — Paradise Rock Club
4/20 — Philadelphia, PA — TLA
4/21 — Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Sound Stage
4/22 — Greensboro, NC — Arizona Pete’s
4/24 — Tampa, FL — Orpheum
4/25 — Atlanta, GA — Masquerade
4/27 — Dallas, TX — Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
4/28 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
4/29 — San Antonio, TX — Alamo City Music Hall
5/1 — Albuquerque, NM — Sunshine Theater
5/2 — Phoenix, AZ — Club Red
5/3 — Los Angeles, CA — Regent
5/4 — San Diego, CA — House of Blues
5/5 — Berkeley, CA — The UC Theatre
5/7 — Portland, OR — Hawthorne Theatre
5/8 — Seattle, WA — El Corazon
5/9 — Vancouver, BC — Rickshaw Theater
5/11 — Edmonton, AB — Starlite
5/12 — Calgary, AB — Marquee
5/14 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
5/15 — Denver, CO — Summit
5/16 — Lawrence, KS — Granada
5/18 — Minneapolis, MN — Skyway
5/19 — Chicago, IL — Metro
5/20 — Detroit, MI — Majestic
5/22 — Toronto, ON — Opera House
5/23 — Montreal, QC — Club Soda
5/24 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza

SUMMER FESTIVALS:
5/26 — Monthey, CH — Irreversible Festival
6/8 — Donington, UK — Download Festival
6/22 — 6/24 — Dessel, BE — Graspop Festival
6/22 — 6/24 — Clisson, FR — Hellfest
6/28-6/30 — Madrid, ESP — Caja Magica, Download Festival
7/22 — 7/28 — Tomlin, SL — Metal Days Festival

EUROPEAN DATES
With Between The Buried and Me + Plini

11/9 — Cologne, DE — Live Music Hall
11/10 — Nijmegen, NL — Doornroosje
11/11 — Vosselaar, BE — Biebob
11/12 — Paris, FR — Le Trabendo
11/13 — Aschaffenburg, DE — Colos-Saal
11/14 — Hamburg, DE — Gruenspan
11/15 — Copenhagen, DK — Pumpehuset
11/16 — Oslo, NO — Parkteatret
11/17 — Stockholm, SE — Kägelbanan
11/19 — Berlin, DE — Lido
11/20 — Stuttgart, DE — Im Wizemann
11/21 — Vienna, AT — Flex
11/22 — Munich, DE — Backstage
11/23 — Aarau, CH — Kiff
11/24 — Parma, IT — Campus Industry
11/25 — Esch, LU — Rockhal

More dates will be announced.  Tickets for the shows are available now here.

More information on ‘King’ is available online now along with all of TesseracT’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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.

 

TesseracT Releases New LP Info, Lead Single; Announces Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Kscope records

The wait is almost over for TesseracT’s new album.

The band announced Thursday that its next album, titled Sonder, will be released April 20, 2018 via Kscope Records, which has previously only released the band’s music overseas.  In anticipation of its release, the band has also debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Luminary.’  Front man Daniel Tompkins explained the song’s concept in a recent interview as “conceptually exploring a deep and devouring sense of insignificance, which ties into the overall theme and meaning behind Sonder.

Sonder will be released on CD and 2CD deluxe edition and vinyl platform.  The deluxe 2CD edition will feature a bonus binaural while the vinyl presentation will be available in variety of color pressings.  There will even be a picture disc release for the album that will be available only via the band’s website.

Bassist Amos Williams explained in a recent interview the importance of the album’s binaural presentation.

“The concept is to push past the restrictions of a stereo headphone mix and create an accurate ‘3D’ space in which positioning outside of the normal Left Right axis can occur,” Williams said.  “This is something that every artist that uses in ear monitors on stage wishes to recreate; the real and accurate positioning of instruments. We immediately felt that this technology could be applicable to us in the studio. TesseracT loves to bring what it does in the studio to the stage, but this time it’s experimenting with bringing a live element to the studio.”

Sonder‘s track listing is noted below.  Pre-orders are open now here.

SONDER TRACK LISTING:
“King”
“Orbital”
“Juno”
“Beneath My Skin”
“Mirror Image”
“Smile”
“The Arrow”

 

Courtesy: Kscope Records

In anticipation of Sonder‘s release, TesseracT has announced a new string of live dates in support of the album.  The band’s tour is currently scheduled to launch April 19 in Boston, MA and to run through May 24 in New York City.  The five-week-long tour also includes stops in Detroit, MI; Portland, OR; Greensboro, N.C. and many other cities.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.  Plini and Astronoid will serve as support for the tour.  Tickets go on sale Feb. 9 on the band’s tour page.

TESSERACT ON TOUR:
4/19 — Boston, MA — Paradise Rock Club
4/20 — Philadelphia, PA — TLA
4/21 — Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Sound Stage
4/22 — Greensboro, NC — Arizona Pete’s
4/24 — Tampa, FL — Orpheum
4/25 — Atlanta, GA — Masquerade
4/27 — Dallas, TX — Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
4/28 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
4/29 — San Antonio, TX — Alamo City Music Hall
5/1— Albuquerque, NM — Sunshine
5/2 — Phoenix, AZ — Club Red
5/3 — Los Angeles, CA — Regent
5/4 — San Diego, CA — House of Blues
5/5 — Berkeley, CA — The UC Theatre
5/7 — Portland, OR — Hawthorne Theatre
5/8 — Seattle, WA — El Corazon
5/9 — Vancouver, BC — Rickshaw Theater
5/11 — Edmonton, AB — Starlite
5/12 — Calgary, AB — Marquee
5/14 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
5/15 — Denver, CO — Summit
5/16 — Lawrence, KS — Granada
5/18 — Minneapolis, MN — Skyway
5/19 — Chicago, IL — Metro
5/20 — Detroit, MI — Majestic
5/22 — Toronto, ON — Opera House
5/23 — Montreal, QC — Club Soda
5/24 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza

More information on TesseracT’s new album, single, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

 

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

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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.

 

 

 

TesseracT Debuts New Single, Video; Launches New Live Schedule

Tesseract is back.

The U.K.-based progressive metal outfit unveiled its new single ‘Smile’ and its companion lyric video this week.  The previously unreleased song was recorded at 4D Studios in Brighton and Celestial Sound Studios in Notts, UK, and produed by Acle Kahney early this spring.

Tesseract Smile Video Grab

The band described the new song as “its most collaborative track in recent years,” with its vocals playing an integral part in bringing it to life. The band’s members added the song’s bass line strengthened the song even more by serving as the backbone for its chorus.

Vocalist Daniel Tompkins explained the lyrical concept behind the song is somewhat metaphysical.

“Lyrically, ‘Smile’ carries a strong and forward sense of irony as we explore the darkest side of the human condition,” Tompkins said.  “The song will witness the manifestation of an ‘entity.’ Consciousness survives through constant manipulation only to propagate pessimism and hopelessness.  Our entity observes, consumes and evolves, bearing witness to human existence, mimicking our presence in colossal form.”

Bassist Amos Williams expanded on Tompkins’ thoughts, saying the song, in its current form, is just one example of what audiences can expect from the band’s next, in-the-works album.

“We chose this track as although it is part of a greater theme, and is in fact toward the end of a story arc, it stands alone very well,” Williams said.  “We have a solid idea of where we would like to take this track on the next album as it is no way finished.  It is merely one step in a journey.”

Williams went on to discuss his own part in the song’s creation, saying a lot of time and thought was put into the bass’ line as it worked with the rest of the song.

“The verses and choruses stand very far apart from each other,” Williams said.  “There is a tension we wished to build through a minimalist approach, with small phrases that repeat against accompanying parts of different lengths.  These undulate, seemingly getting lost against the non-conventional phrasing of the drums.  All this is nothing new to TesseracT fans, but this time we have really looked to align the lyrical and musical messages.”

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

The band’s release this week of ‘Smile’ and its companion video was intentionally timed, as the band has hit the road on a new string of live dates with Megadeth and Meshuggah.  The bands’ tour launched June 23 in Big Flats, NY, and currently runs through July 11 in Pittsburg, PA.  TesseracT also has its own string of headlining dates lined up from July 1 to July 13.  TesseracT’s current live schedule is noted below.

WITH MEGADETH + MESHUGGAH
6/23 Big Flats, NY – Tags Summerstage
6/25 Boston, MA – House Of Blues
6/27 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
6/28 Portsmouth, VA – Portsmouth Pavillion
6/29 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
6/30 Columbus, OH – Express Live
7/07 Saint Charles, MO – Family Arena
7/08 Oklahoma City, OK – The Zoo Amphitheatre
7/09 Houston, TX – Revention Music Centre
7/11 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AEHEADLINE:
7/01/17 – Indianapolis IN – The Emerson Theater
7/05/17 – Nashville, TN – Exit / In
7/06/17 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
7/12/17 – Buffalo, NY – The Waiting Room

7/13/17 – Amityville, NY – Revolution Bar & Grill

‘Smile’ can be purchased or streamed online now here.  More information on ‘Smile’ is available online now along with all of TesseracT’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

 

 

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.

TesseracT Joining Gojira For Upcoming North American Tour

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

TesseracT is returning to the U.S. this fall.

The U.K.-based progressive metal band has announced that it will serve as support for Gojira on its upcoming U.S. tour.  The tour is in support of Gojira’s upcoming album Magma, due out Friday June 17th via Roadrunner Records.  As TesseracT front man Dan Tomkins noted in a recent interview, the tour will be the band’s last in support of Polaris, its latest full-length studio recording.  Polaris was released September 18th, 2015.  He also discussed touring with Gojira, noting, “We are thrilled to announce that we will be back in the U.S. and Canada throughout September and October.”  He went on to say, “This will be the final tour of the ‘Polaris’ cycle and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it! This will be our first support tour in a long time and we are very excited to be touring with such a groundbreaking and unique band; it will be an honour to share the stage with them. Gojira have a great and loyal fanbase and we look forward to presenting our live show to them and of course for our own dedicated fans and friends. We will again be running our VIP meet and greets, which are always so much fun, so we hope to shake hands and chat with even more new faces this time around!”

This fall’s upcoming North American tour will mark the first time since last year’s run with The Contortionist, Erra, and Skyharbor.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming live dates go on sale this Friday, May 6th.  They can be purchased online here at each venue’s ticket office.  Special bundle packs can be purchased online here.  Full album streams of Polaris are currently available online now via YouTube at the band’s official website.  Audiences can also view the video for the song ‘Survival’ online via Kscope’s official YouTube channel now.

More information on TesseracT’s upcoming tour is available now online along with the band’s latest news, links to purchase Polaris and more at:

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.uk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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Veteran Acts Dominate 2015’s Top New Live DVD/BD Recordings List

This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS AND BLU-RAYS

  1. SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – LIVE AT THE ROXY 09.25.14

 

  1. TESSERACT – SCALA

 

  1. AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH ROCKS DONINGTON

 

  1. GEORGE STRAIT – THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY

 

  1. THE WHO – LIVE AT HYDE PARK

 

  1. SHANIA TWAIN – STILL THE ONE: LIVE IN VEGAS

 

  1. ERIC CLAPTON – SLOWHAND AT 70: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE IN LEEDS 1982

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME 1990

 

  1. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED L LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD & SECOND HELPING

 

  1. PAT METHENY – UNITY SESSIONS

 

  1. WHITECHAPEL – BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

 

  1. TASTE – WHAT’S GOING ON: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT

 

  1. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK

 

  1. DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – LIVE IN DUBLIN

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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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Music’s Past, Present, And Future Come Together In 2015’s Best New Live CDs List

Going to see live shows is anything but cheap. Anyone that has ever been to one will attest to that. Regardless of whether the show is close by or a long drive, it seems going to see shows nowadays is anything but cheap. Not to mention it’s not always easy because of time constraints. Weekday and weeknight shows are anything but easy just because of scheduling regardless of whether or not one has a family. So that leaves the question what is one to do in place of going to see a show? The answer: Pick up one’s favorite live recording on CD or DVD/Blu-ray. Both formats offer their own pros and cons. And in many cases, what is available on CD might not necessarily be available on DVD/Blu-ray or vice versa. That leads to the need for a list both for the year’s best new live CDs and new live DVDs/BDs. For the sake of this list the attention will go to the year’s best new live CDs. This year’s list includes a number of live CDs that were not accompanied by live DVDs and Blu-rays. Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck’s new live CD Live + is one of those that only received the CD treatment. It topped this year’s list. Saxon’s The Saxon Chronicles is another live CD that didn’t get the companion DVD/BD treatment. It’s on the list, too as is Birth of Joy’s Live at UBU, Jimi Hendrix’s Atlanta Pop Festival performance, and Zodiac’s The Road Tapes Volume 1. In other cases such as The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” recordings, audiences were lucky enough to get the recordings in complete packages. The same applies with Whitechapel’s Brotherhood of the Blade. These are just some of the titles that made the cut for this year’s list of the year’s best new live CD recordings. This was by no means an easy list to assemble. So no offense is meant against any recording that was left off the list. Set lists had to be taken into account as well as production values and also the acts’ stage presence. Taking all of that into account the following is the final list. Without any further ado I offer to you, dear readers, 2015’s Top New Live CDs.

2015 TOP NEW LIVE CDS

1. JEFF BECK — LIVE +

2. CARLOS SANTANA/JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

3. LYNYRD SKYNYRD — SWEET HOME ALABAMA

4. DARYLL HALL AND JOHN OATES — LIVE IN DUBLIN

5. TESSERACT — ODYSSEY

6. JIMI HENDRIX — ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL

7. ZODIAC — THE ROAD TAPES VOLUME 1

8. WHITECHAPEL — BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

9. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME

10. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE IN LEEDS

11. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: THE MARQUEE CLUB LIVE IN 1971

12. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS (SPECIAL EDITION WITH WACKEN OPEN AIR 2015 CONCERT)

13. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

14. EMERSON, LAKE, & PALMER — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

15. BIRTH OF JOY — LIVE AT UBU

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