The Dagger’s CM Debut Is Pure Rock At Its Finest

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The self-titled debut record from The Dagger is a solid first effort for the Stockholm, Sweden-based four-piece. The Dagger isn’t the first band to ever take listeners back to rock’s golden era. But it still has done something special on its debut that other bands of its ilk (E.g. Horisont, The Sword, Gypsyhawk) have not done. What it has done on its first full effort for Century Media Records is crafted an album that exhibits one of the widest swaths of influences to date from any band of its kind. That’s one part of what makes this record one that purist metal heads will appreciate about this album. Also noteworthy about the album is its overall production values. That, too will be discussed shortly. And last but far from least are the lyrical themes that run through the album. All three factors together make The Dagger an album that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much with each listen.

The Dagger’s debut record is a good addition to the library of anyone that is a fan of The Sword, Horisont and Gypsyhawk. Much like those bands, The Dagger takes listeners back to the golden era of rock on its Century Media Records debut. As much as it carries a sound similar to those bands, it actually takes things a step further on its self-titled debut. Instead of focusing primarily on one specific classic rock sound, the members of The Dagger—Jani Kataja (vocals), Fred Estby (drums), David Blomqvist (guitar), and Tobias Cristiansson (bass)—exhibit influences from a rather wide swatch of veteran bands. Those bands include the likes of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and even Deep Purple among others. Such a wide array of influences having been exhibited here, it makes the album one of those rare albums that is actually worth listening through without skipping a single song. That’s truly saying something, especially in an era when audiences seem to be increasingly downloading single tracks from the likes of iTunes instead of purchasing entire albums. Taking this into consideration, it shows that The Dagger’s debut record could very well be one that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. To that extent, it shows great potential for this record.

The sound crafted by the members of The Dagger on the band’s self-titled debut is the most important factor in the overall enjoyment of this record. The band doesn’t stick to just one influence, even in taking listeners on a trip back in time to the golden age of rock. It exhibits all of its many classic rock influences. Just as important to the album’s success as its sound is the album’s production. The separation that was formed between The Dagger and other “modern classic rock” bands thanks to The Dagger’s extensive background of influences is made even wider thanks to the album’s production values. Painstaking efforts were made to not only bring out the band’s veteran influences, but to make the band’s album sound like it was itself a product of rock’s golden era. From Blomqvist’s powerhouse guitar playing to the almost hollow sound of the drums made popular in the 1960s and 70s to Kataja’s own vocals, and even Cristiansson’s bass work, each part was given special attention. When all four parts came together, those behind the glass exhibited expert talent, crafting an album that sounded like it came right from the era of so many great garage rock style bands. Credit is most definitely to be given in that area. It wonderfully compliments a sound from the band that is already impressive on its own.

The songs that make up The Dagger and the production values that make the album even richer are both integral parts of the album’s success and enjoyment. They are but part of the whole, though. There is still one more factor to consider in the album’s enjoyment. That factor is the variety of lyrical themes that run through the album. As [Fred] Estby noted in an interview with Terrorizer magazine, the influences behind the songs’ lyrical themes come from a number of sources. Those sources include the news, novels, and even lyrics from contemporaries such as Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, and Blue Oyster Cult. That means that unlike so many rock bands out there, The Dagger tries its best to avoid the standard themes of relationships. Rather the themes on this album vary just as widely as the band’s musical influences. It’s a breath of fresh air, considering just how many bands even in today’s world of hard rock and heavy metal base their songs on that standard fare. That factor, alongside the album’s overall sound and production values make this record, once again, one that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much the fiftieth time around as the fifth.

The Dagger will be available in the U.S. Tuesday, July 22nd and June 30th in Europe.  It will be released both domestically and internationally via Century Media Records. The Dagger is currently scheduled to perform live September 18th and 19th in Stockholm Sweden as part of Close-Up Magazine’s Close-Up Baten Festival. Until then, audiences can keep up with the latest news and more from The Dagger through its official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/daggerofficial. 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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rocklahoma Performance Lineup Announced

 

 

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

 

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” music festival have announced the official performance lineup for this year’s festival.  The festival kicks off Thursday, May 23rd and runs through Sunday, May 26th.  Tickets for the four day festival go on sale next Wednesday, April 17th at 11AM/10Am CT.  They can be purchased online at the official Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The official performance lineup is listed below:

Thursday, May 23 (AXiS Campground Stage):

Triple 7, Bruce Flea, Searching for Sanity, Sleepwalking Home, Motortrain, Baron, Von Swagger, Rocker Lips, Drek, Kingshifter

Friday, May 24:

Guns N’ Roses, Bush, Papa Roach, Device, Ratt, All That Remains, Clutch, Escape The Fate, The Sword, Otherwise, Zero Crossing, Down & Dirty, The Last Vegas, Hessler, Bai Bang, Ruff Justice, London’s Dungeon, Fist of Rage, The Summit, Wanton Looks, Kicktree, Shotgun Rebels, The Kul, Mine Enemies Fall

Saturday, May 25:

Alice In Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Big Wreck, Young Guns, We As Humans, O’Brother, Mindset Evolution, Gypsy Pistoleros, Rhyme, Sunset Riot, Wildstreet, London, Black Tora, Big Trouble, Sister’s Doll, Emerald City, Strikes at One, Well Hung Heart, Vilifi, For the Broken, EchoFuzz, The Chimpz, Memory of a Melody

Sunday, May 26:

Korn, Cheap Trick, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Dokken, Motionless In White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, American Fangs, Scorpion Child, The Glitter Boys, Nasty Habit, Mystery, Lynam, Switchblade Scarlet, Firstryke, Station, Ragdoll, Wicked, New Dawn Day, Unwritten Rulz, Framing the Red, Meganaut, The Bourgeois

Single-day tickets will be available beginning next Wednesday, April 17 for $69 (plus fees).  Three-day passes are available now for $125 plus fees and will increase to $150 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Weekend VIP ticket packages are available now for $350 plus fees.  They will increase to a cost of $380 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Quantities for these packages are limited.  There are still limited quantities of Weekend Four-packs and Groupie packages.  Active Military duty personnel can purchase discounted general admission tickets at any time.  More information on ticket packages and more is available on the Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping office at 866-310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will be open through Tuesday, May 28th

Rocklahoma is sponsored by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Love Bottling, Retrospect Records, Route 66 RVs, and AXiS Entertainment.

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.

Rocklahoma Organizers Announce Festival Details

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” concert festival have released the initial slate of performers and information for this year’s three day-long festival.  This year’s festival is the final event of the 2013 “World’s Loudest Month.”  It will take place on Memorial Day weekend from May 24th – 26th.  It will be headlined by Guns ‘N Roses, Alice In Chains, and Korn.  It will be held at the “Catch The Fever” festival grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma and will be presented by Bud Light.  It is sponsored by Bud Light, Hard Rock, Jagermeister, and Monster Energy.

The current lineup of performers reads like a who’s who of rocks’ past, present, and future.  Performers set for the festival’s main stage include: Guns ‘N Roses, Alice in Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Skillet, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Asking Alexandria, Ratt, Halestorm, Device (With David Draiman), All That Remains, Escape The Fate, Dokken, Clutch, Motionless in White, Big Wreck, The Sword, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Mindset Evolution, Heaven’s Basement, We As Humans, American Fangs, O’Brother and many more. 

The festival’s main stage is loaded with some major names.  It’s just one part of the weekend long festival.  Fans can head over to the Retrospect Records Stage for even more bands including: The Last Vegas, London, Wildstreet, Mad Max, Bai Bang, Lynam, De La Cruz, The Glitter Boyz, Black Tora, Sunset Riot, Firstryke, Ragdoll, Hessler, Switchblade Scarlett, Nasty Habit, Sister’s Doll, London’s Dungeon, Rhyme, Emerald City, Wicked, Down n Dirty, Station, Ruff Justice, Mystery and Fist of Rage.

While it has not yet been finalized, news on the lineup for the AXiS Campground Tent is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

General admission tickets for Rocklahoma go on sale next Friday, February 22nd at 11am/10am CST.  An internet pre-sale will be held next Wednesday, February 20th online at http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The pre-sale will go on at 11am/10 CST.  Audiences can also go to the Rocklahoma website to order tickets once they go on full sale and to sign up for the Rocklahoma newsletter.  The earlier fans purchase tickets the better as ticket prices will increase in the coming weeks. 

Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping Office at (866) 310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will remain open until Tuesday, May 28th

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.