Shout! Factory Kids’ Latest Rescue Bots DVD Is Another Welcome Collection Of Episodes

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Later this month Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios will release the latest collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots. The DVD, Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is the series’ ninth collection of episodes to be released. And being that a fourth season of the hit series is on the way it obviously is not the last. Would it be nice to see the series’ current three seasons in their own standalone sets? The answer is yes. It has been overseas but not here stateside. Maybe that will eventually happen for American audiences. But in the meantime this latest collection of episodes is still a good addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans. The main reason for that is the collection’s featured episodes. The writing presented within each of the featured episodes is just as important to note as the episodes themselves. That is because it reaches audiences of all ages in a number of ways that will be discussed later. Rounding out this collection’s overall presentation is once again the work of the series’ voice cast. The cast’s work is impressive yet again. Though, something intriguing happens in one of the episodes that must be noted here. Even with that notable instance, the cast’s work remains just as enjoyable as in episodes featured in the series’ previous DVD collections. Together with the episodes themselves and the writing therein all three elements collectively make Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space one more collection that any of this series’ fans should have in their own home DVD libraries.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space, the ninth collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots, is yet another welcome addition in the home of any of the series’ fans. The main reason for this is its featured episodes. By and large the episodes featured on this disc were lifted from the series’ third season with one episode—”It’s A Bot Time”—coming from the series’ first season. This is important to note because that episode completes Shout! Factory Kids’ presentation of the series’ first season. The remainder of Season One was spread out across the course of six of the series’ previous eight single-disc compilations. The rest of the episodes featured here all come from Season Three. They are not the only season’s episodes to be presented so far either. Five of Season Three’s twenty-eight total episodes were already presented in the series’ 2015 collection Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Bots. Keeping this in mind and that of Season Two’s twenty-four episodes only ten have been presented so far, it means that Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is hardly the series’ last collection of episodes. That is especially with the announcement last year that the series had been re-upped for a fourth season, which apparently has yet to debut at the time of this review. Staying on that note it would be nice to have all of Season One presented in a single collection for American audiences instead of so many separate single-disc collections. And with any luck Shout! Factory Kids will do just that sooner rather than later. But in the meantime fans of the show will appreciate having said collections and yet another part of the series added into their personal DVD libraries with this latest collection. To that extent even though it is yet another single-disc collection of episodes it is still another important piece for any of the show’s fans until such time arrives.

The episodes featured in Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios’ latest Transformers Rescue Bots DVD are in themselves an important part of the collection’s overall presentation. That is because coupled with the Season Three episodes presented in the 2015 collection Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Bots they take another proverbial bite out of the series’ third season. Together with the noted collection, nine of Season Three’s twenty-eight total episodes have now been presented on DVD. Fans of the show would likely welcome a standalone, full-season set just as much as this latest collection if not more. So that in mind this collection’s episodes prove to be just as important to the disc’s presentation as anything else in the meantime. As important as the episodes are to the collection’s overall presentation the writing presented within the episodes is just as important as the episodes. This includes both the episodes’ storylines and the smaller elements incorporated into the whole of the stories. “It’s A Bot Time” is the first half of a two-part story arc that closes out Season One. “Bot To The Future” was previously released in a previous TRB (as it will henceforth be known) collection. This portion presents the setup for the story, explaining how Cody and the Rescue Bots ended up in the past and why they had to go back in the first place. Go figure the whole thing was the result of Doc Green’s overly curious mind, not to reveal too much. “Unfinished Business” sees Boulder and Blades head back out into space in order to complete a mission involving an “energy vampire.” Their discovery upon returning to the site of their last encounter with the beast results in quite the outcome. That outcome won’t be revealed here. But it does ultimately leave viewers laughing at least a little bit believe it or not. There’s even a classic body/brain switching storyline in “Switcheroo” that sees the Rescue Bots trading places with their human counterparts after a trip into outer space. It’s an all-too-familiar story line that has been used in countless other sci-fi series animated and otherwise. But even with that familiarity in mind, the writers still manage to keep the story fresh and entertaining here. And even in the Groundhog Day style story “Time After Time” the writers managed to keep that familiar story line fresh in its own right. “The Last Of Morocco” is perhaps the most interesting of the episodes presented in this collection. That is because considering the evil Doctor’s deeds his final fate is not exactly what audiences would expect. It’s one more way in which the stories crafted by the show’s writers show the importance of its writing in regards to the episodes themselves. The writing behind the episodes’ stories is just one important way in which the series’ writing shows its importance in these episodes. The writing within the episodes is just as important as the stories that were crafted for each episode.

The stories that were developed for each of the episodes featured in Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space show in their own way the importance of the writing in the episodes. While they are important in their own right in exhibiting the importance of the series’ writing, the writing within the stories themselves proves to be just as important as the episodes’ stories. That is evident in “Switcheroo.” When the Rescue Bots and the Burns Family head up into space the first time, the writers pay direct tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey as Johann Strauss II’s ‘The Beautiful Blue Danube’ plays in the background. The same song is used in one of the movie’s opening scenes as a space station floats in space. In “The Last Of Morocco” the writers don’t just use Jules Verne as a figure for the story. They actually accent his foresight of technology and his desire to use technology for the greater good. What’s more those responsible for the show’s animation even went so far as to use pictures of Verne for the character in the episode in question. That the writers and designers would collaborate and make that happen in this episode shows a great eye for detail. On a completely different note, “Unfinished Business” presents some interesting writing as it opens with a flashback sequence. The catch is that the writers don’t come out and make clear that the opening sequence is in fact a flashback. Audiences are in fact led to believe that they are watching the series’ real first episode. Of course it isn’t. And that ultimate reveal in itself makes for its own share of enjoyment for viewers. The story that follows is just as entertaining with Boulder and Blades hunting down the Energon vampire from the story that they told Cody. The duo’s showdown with the beast and victory both show some great writing, too. That is because the showdown shows Boulder and Blades having to get innovative in order to defeat the beast since it is just the two of them. The outcome presents a setup that all of the anglers out there will appreciate. It’s one more example of what makes the writing within the episodes so important to the DVD’s overall presentation. Each of the noted examples are in their own right important in showing what makes the episodes’ writing so important. The other episodes not directly analyzed here each have their own examples of what makes their writing just as important. Together with the directly noted episodes, the writing within each of this disc’s episodes show clearly and collectively why their writing is so important in the episodes’ presentation. Keeping this in mind, the disc’s featured episodes and their writing show only in part why Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios’ new Transformers Rescue Bots DVD is a great addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans. The work of the series’ cast is just as important to these episodes as the writing within.

The episodes presented in Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space and their writing are both equally important in their own right to the DVD’s overall presentation. As important as they are to the whole of the DVD, they are not the DVD’s only notable elements. The work of the series’ voice cast is just as important as the other noted elements. For the most part the voice cast’s work is just as impressive throughout these episodes as in the episodes presented in the series’ previous DVDs. There are a couple of interesting notes that have to be made, though. At first in “Switcheroo” the cast avoids the typical trapping of switching voices when their characters switch bodies. However as the episode progresses that seems to wear off as some of the cast ends up falling into that trap and others not. Even with that happening it doesn’t necessarily detract from the episode. But it does leave one raising one’s eyebrow at times. There is another episode in which Cody’s voice seems to be lower than in previous episodes. This could be attributed to voice actor Elan Garfias either being sick or getting older. Though in other episodes Garfias’ voice sounds completely normal. So it leaves one wondering needless to say. Regardless, Garfias’ performance in said episode is still solid from beginning to end. LeVar Burton is just as entertaining in each episode especially as Doc Green takes more of a direct role in each episode. At times he is so spot on in his role that audiences won’t be able but to laugh at Doc Green in his enthusiasm for what he does. That joy and the entertainment brought from the rest of the cast’s work in these episodes combines to show that the cast’s talent has not dwindled in the least even with the noted anomalies. And together with the displayed work of the series’ writers and those that chose the DVD’s episodes, all three elements come together to make this DVD in whole one more welcome addition to the show’s current series of DVDs. And until or unless the series begins to see its seasons in their own standalone season sets it will be just as welcome in the home DVD library of any of the show’s fans.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is hardly the first collection of episodes to be released from Discovery Family’s hit animated series. And by the looks of things it definitely won’t be the last. From its featured episodes, which feature another chunk of the series’ third season, to the writing incorporated into each episode to the work of the show’s voice cast there is plenty to appreciate about this DVD. Even if the series never receives the full, standalone season sets that it deserves, the elements that went into making this DVD become reality make it a collection that any of the show’s fans will want to add to their home DVD libraries. It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 23rd in stores and online and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-adventures-in-time-and-space. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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.

Murder F.M. Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Famous Records/Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Famous Records/Pavement Entertainment

Goth rock band Murder F.M. announced a new handful of live dates for later this month.

The band will join Audiotopsy, Violent New Breed, Lola Black, and Flood of Souls as a support act for Drowning Pool on its upcoming tour, which is in support of its new album Hellalujah. The band will join the tour Thursday, February 18th at its stop in Golden, Colorado. These latest dates follow a recent string of headlining dates held by Murder F.M. late last month.

The band’s current live dates are in continued support of its latest full-length studio offering, 2015’s Happily Never After. That album was released August 7th, 2015 via Famous Records and Pavement Entertainment. Murder F.M.’s current slate of tour dates with Drowning Pool and company is noted below.

 

Dates with DROWNING POOL, Audiotopsy, Violent New Breed:

2/18 Golden, CO @ Buffalo Rose

2/19 Salt Lake City,UT @ The Royal Bar

2/20 Idaho Falls,ID @ Hitt Event Center

2/22 Chico,CA @ Lost On Main

2/23 Los Angeles,CA @ Los Globos

2/24 Mesa,AZ @ Club Red

2/25 Lubbock,TX @ Jake’s Backroom

2/26 San Antonio,TX @ Fitzgeralds

 

More information on Murder F.M.’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.murderfmmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Murder-FM-Official-339855065055/?fref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/murderfm

 

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.

Love And A .38 Announces Release Date For Sophomore LP; Debuts Video For Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy:  Head First Entertainment

Courtesy: Head First Entertainment

Stoner rock band Love and a .38 will release its sophomore album Nomads later this month. In anticipation of the album’s release the band has premiered the video for the album’s lead single.

Love and a .38 will release its second full-length studio album Friday, February 19th. The ten-track album was self-produced by the band. It was produced at Hollywood’s Blushing Cad Studios. In discussing expectations for the upcoming album the band noted the clarity in its members’ heads in developing its songs. There was also note of how that clarity and focus helped to drive the energy in each song. The band’s members noted, “We’ve really honed in on what kind of feeling we want to portray with our music, and have focused our energy in a way that better serves that feeling than we ever have before,” the band says. The album can be pre-ordered online now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1080439776?ls=1&app=itunes. Audiences that pre-order the album now will get an instant download of ‘Big Leg Betty,’ another of the album’s featured songs.

In anticipation of the album’s upcoming release the band premiered the video for ‘Oh My God,’ the album’s lead single, this week. The video is streaming online now via the band’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUG88T9dZZ0.

 

 

Love and a 38 Video Grab

 

 

The video is also currently in rotation at the Universal Citywalk Jumbotron alongside videos from more well-known acts such as: Imagine Dragons, Paramore, and Pentatonix among others. Front man Ryan Hudson discussed the band’s inclusion in its rotation, noting the honor of being featured alongside such well-known acts and how much it means to the band. “For an up and coming band like us it’s really a thrill to be able to see ourselves side by side with artists who have accomplished so much in the industry,” he said. It’s energizing and humbling.”

Love and a .38 will celebrate the release of its sophomore album on its release day with a release party at the famed Viper Room in Hollywood, California. More information on that is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.loveanda38music.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Loveanda.38

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Loveanda38

 

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.

Franti And Spearhead’s New EP Will Make All Of America Rise Up

Courtesy:  Fantasy Records

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

There’s a lot of negativity in the world today. That’s obvious just sitting and watching the news each day. Considering all of that negativity it’s safe to say that the world is in dire need of something about which to feel good. Enter veteran duo Michael Franti and Spearhead. The duo released its new “EP” Once A Day Rise Up early last December. The eight-song disc was marketed as an EP. But for all intents and purposes it is more akin to a maxi-single than an EP. That is because all eight of its featured tracks are just different variants of the same song. What’s truly interesting about the record is that all things considered it is still a presentation that despite having been released a couple of months ago is just as uplifting now as it was in its original release. What’s more it will still be just as uplifting in the year and years to come, too. Keeping that in mind, Once A Day Rise Up is an EP that everyone should have in their personal music library.

Michael Franti’s new “EP” Once A Day Rise Up is a collection that every person should have in her or her own personal music library. The main reason for this is the various takes on the uplifting song and its positive lyrical content. the EP features eight different takes on the hit song, which for all intents and purposes makes it more of a maxi-single than EP. but that is beside the point. What is truly important here is the positive message and vibe presented in the song. Franti sings in this song, “You never know what the world is gonna show you/It ain’t up to you/You always think it’s gonna happen to another person/And it’s never ever gonna happen to you/You got your friends/Got your money/Got your family/Got your honey/You think you got a million days/But then life comes along/And it knocks you right down/To the ground/And that’s why I say that/Everybody oughtta hug somebody/At least once a day/And everybody oughtta kiss somebody/At least once a day/Everybody’s gonna miss somebody/At least once a day/And everybody gotta love somebody/Everyday. This is a message from which the entire world could really benefit especially nowadays. That positive message is just one part of the song’s positive outlook that makes it worth the listen. Franti goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “And we all will rise up/Spread your wings and fly/We all will rise up. From there Franti and Spearhead rap in the song’s second verse “The purpose of life is to live a life full of purpose/And so don’t ever take for granted what the spirit has given you/in the first verse/You might never get a second verse/The same rehearsal/You can’t put it in reverse/So just believe in yourself/Don’t let nobody be a negative/Tell you what to do.” Regardless of one’s age, this is a message that every person should take to heart in his or her everyday life. Both verses together compose a message that is far too rare in the mainstream music industry today. The song’s infectious reggae-infused sound adds even more enjoyment to the song, too. It is a sound that makes it a perfect fit on any Top 40 A/C station across the country and would likely be just as welcome, too. The positive, uplifting message is sure to make it just as welcome at said stations. Audiences can hear the song for themselves online now via Michael Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gowi31zGyQA.

It was previously noted that Michael Franti and Spearhead’s new song ‘Once A Day’ is a piece that is both welcome and needed now more than ever. That is because of its infectious reggae-infused sound and its uplifting lyrical mesage. This applies just as much in the song’s Love Life Mix. What makes this take on the song so interesting is its musica approach. The song’s lyrical content is delivered much in the same fashion as in its original radio edit. Keeping that in mind, the song’s musical content plays a far more important part here than its lyrical content and delivery. The guitar line that is used as the song’s basis in the original song is replaced here by a light keyboard line. It’s not one of those full-on EDM style keyboard parts either. Rather it is just subtle enough to get in listeners’ heads and have them humming along when it plays and even at other random times. There is even something that sounds like a sample of rapper Lil John incorporated into the song to add to its flare. This critic could easily be wrong. But it certainly sounds like him. It would be interesting (having to work this song without any liner notes–another reason for having the physical versus the digital) to find out if it is in fact him. It’s a good addition to any DJ’s lineup considering all of this. The positive vibes generated by the song’s musical content and its equally positive, uplifting message certify this even more. Audiences can hear the song’s Love Life Mix online now via Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOZ1tra1aXI.

Both the Radio Edit and Love Life Mix of ‘Once A Day’ are their own enjoyable takes on the song. They each prove in whole to be compositions that would be just as welcome in America’s clubs as the nation’s Top 40 A/C stations (if it isn’t already spinning at said stations). While both renditions prove to be equally enjoyable presentations of said song they are hardly the only versions that prove its value in American (and potentially even world) culture today. It is also presented in a Cutmore Club Mix/Radio Edit. That take on the tune presents it in its purest possible club setting possible. Its original take is updated with a full-on EDM sound complete with flowing keyboard line, drum machine and more. The upbeat, infectious groove generated in this remix will not only put a smile on listeners’ faces but have them dancing and singing along happily. They collectively make it a song that is even more certain to stick in listeners’ ears and heads long after it ends, which is a very good thing. That means it will have listeners coming back to it time and again just as much as the song’s original take, its Love Life Mix and every other take on the song. The song is streaming online now via Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWrmCjPLctw. Together with the song’s Love Life Mix and its original Radio Edit, all three takes on the songs show in their own way clearly why Once A Day Rise Up EP is a welcome new collection of remixes of Franti and Spearhead’s new song. One would be remiss to ignore the other remixes included in the disc. Each presents its own different mix that is sure to entertain audiences in its own original fashion. Altogether all eight mixes make this EP/maxi-single a collection that any Top 40 station should have in its library just as much as any listener.

Michae Franti and Spearhead’s new EP Once A Day Rise Up is a collection of remixes that every Top 40 A/C station should have in its library (and playlist) just as much as any listener. That is thanks largely to the eight different takes on the pair’s hit song ‘Once A Day.’ It is interesting that the collection is considered an EP since all eight compositions are different takes on the same song. Considering that they are all based on the same song, it might be better to call this collection a maxi-single than an EP. Regardless it is still a collection that proves to be quite the entertaining mix of song stylings. Altogether they prove to be a collection that every Top 40 A/C station should have in its library just as much as any listener with the infectious grooves presented in each song and the echoing of its uplifting lyrical theme. All things considered, Once A Day Rise Up shows in the end to be one of the most welcome collections of songs to come along in a long time in any genre regardless of whether it be an EP or maxi-single. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this release is available online now along with all of Michael Franti and Spearhead’s latest news, tour dates and more at:

Website: http://www.michaelfranti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelfranti

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.

Holy Grail Debuts ‘Into The Maelstrom’ Lyric Video

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

Next Tuesday, Holy Grail will release Times of Pride and Peril, its third full-length studio recording. In anticipation of its impending release, the band has debuted the video for another song from the album.

Holy Grail debuted the lyric video for the song ‘Into The Maelstrom’ this week. The video sets the song’s lyrics against a futuristic backdrop that includes robots, rockets, an elevator to space and much more. Audiences can cehck it out online now via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQf-DF8ZyHI.

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

The band is currently touring in support of Times of Pride and Peril. It is currently touring alongside label mate Marty Friedman and will join Black Tusk beginning February 23rd in Charlotte, NC. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

2/8 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge ^

2/9 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls ^

2/11 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s ^

2/12 Houston, TX – Scout Bar ^

2/13 Dallas, TX – Trees ^

2/14 Little Rock, AR – Stickyz ^

2/16 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade ^

2/17 Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits ^

2/18 Orlando, FL – Backbooth ^

2/19 St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre ^

2/20 Ocala, FL – O’Malley’s Alley

2/22 Greenville, SC – Gottrocks

2/23 Charlotte, NC – Milestone #

2/24 Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas #

2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #

2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #

2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #

2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #

3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #

3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #

3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #

3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest @ The Masonic Temple

3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #

3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #

3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #

3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #

3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #

3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #

3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #

3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #

3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #

3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #

3/17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #

3/18 Spokane, WA – The Pin #

3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #

3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #

3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #

3/23 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge #

3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #

^ with Marty Friedman

# with Black Tusk

Audiences can pre-order Times of Pride and Peril online now at iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and Prosthetic Records’ online store. More information on Times of Pride and Peril is available online now along with all of the latest updates on Holy Grail’s tour, news and more at:

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

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.

Exmortus Is At Its Peak In On Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Exmortus struck quite the blow for the metal community when it released its album Slave To The Sword back in 2014. The band’s third full-length studio record and first for Prosthetic Records, it can be argued that it was the album that really made Exmortus into one of the metal community’s next big names. Earlier last month Exmortus followed up the success of that album with its latest full-length studio recording Ride Forth. The band’s fourth full-length studio offering this record is a solid follow-up to Slave To The Sword. Its nine track, forty-three-minute body presents a band that doesn’t rest easily on its laurels. From beginning to end the album keeps its energy and intensity both musically and lyrically beginning right at the album’s outset. ‘Speed of the Strike’ is a full-throttle metal opus that comes at listeners with the speed and precision of the sharpest blade. This applies both with its musical and lyrical content. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is just as pummeling in its approach. And the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored either. The band has taken the legendary composer’s original work and paid it full tribute in its take in its performance of the song. It is every bit as intense here as the original composition, which is more commonly performed on piano. It serves to once again exhibit the breadth of the band’s talents and musical knowledge. When set against the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, it serves as one more example of why Ride Forth is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Ride Forth, Exmortus’ latest full-length studio recording, is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is evident from the album’s full-throttle, take no prisoners opener ‘Speed of The Strike’ right to its finale, ‘Fire And Ice.’ From beginning to end this record’s sound (which conjures thoughts of Arch Enemy, Poweglove, TSO, and other similar acts) alongside its equally powerful lyrical content keeps listeners’ ears with ears. Speaking of the album’s opener it is just one example of what makes this album such an outstanding new effort from Exmortus. In regards to the song’s musical content, the band wastes no time coming at listeners. Guitarist David Rivera and front man/guitarist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez jump right into the song with their dual guitar attack alongside drummer Mario Moreno and bassist Michael Cosio. The song’s no-nonsense musical approach is in itself just one part of what makes it a solid opener for the band on this album. That is just one part of what makes the song’s musical content notable. Even within the song’s musical content audiences that listen closely will note the band’s classical influences throughout the song. The precision in Rivera and Gonzalez’s performance is incredible. The same can be said of Cosio and Moreno as they establish the song’s foundation. Altogether, the quartet’s abilities create a sound here that in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to hear this song. It’s just one important element of this song. The song’s lyrical content is just as intense as its musical content. Gonzalez sings here, “Riding forth through lands forlorn/Upon our steel the oath is sworn/Dare to make your final stand/Nothing can our steel withstand/Fate is sealed/Death by steel/Slaying man and god alike/All shall feel the speed of the strike.” It comes across like something right from the likes of Amon Amarth and other viking metal acts even though Exmortus is anything but. Interestingly enough Exmortus will hit the road this spring alongside Amon Amarth on its upcoming U.S. tour. Gonzalez continues in similar fashion in the song’s chorus as he sings, “Hark! The sound of steel/The mighty roar of clashing swords/Lo! The metal storm/Forthcoming bane/Those who remain/All shall be torn to shreds/Swords stained red/Raze to the ground/We will strike you down.” This and the song’s opening verse alone build a firm bridge back to Slave To The Sword yet also connects that album expertly to this album. Taking all of this into consideration along with the rest of the song’s equally pummeling lyrical content, the song in whole exhibits clearly in itself what makes Ride Forth a musical ride. it is just one example of what makes Exmortus’ new album such an intense and welcome musical ride. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is another example of what makes this album so intense and so welcome among both the band’s fans and the metal community.

‘Speed Of The Strike’ was the perfect choice with which Exmortus opted to open its latest full-length studio recording. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together instantly grabs listeners and holds them firm from start to finish. While the musical and lyrical intensity of this song makes it a solid first impression for the band on its latest offering, it is just one example of what makes this album such an impressive new offering from Exmortus. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of what makes the album a solid new effort from the Whittier, California-based band. In regards to its musical content it is just as intense with the chainsaw sharpness of its dual guitar attack and machine gun-fast drumming. Its lyrical content is just as intense as that of ‘Speed of the Strike,’ too. As Gonzalez sings here, “Ride on/Raise your strong and fight strong/All shall face the mighty metal horde/Thunder/We go in and plunder/Bow before the heavy hammer lord/Whiplash/Hackslash/All is burned to ash.” Yet again here listeners get much the same lyrical intensity and theme as in ‘Speed Of The Strike.’ The combination of that lyrical and musical intensity from beginning to end shows clearly why this song is another example of what makes ‘For The Horde’ such a welcome return for the band. Audiences can check out the band’s lyric video for the song online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo35U4PTQ90. It still is not the only remaining example of what makes the album such an impressive return for Exmortus, too. The band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored as an example what makes this album so impressive either.

Both ‘Speed Of The Strike’ and ‘For The Horde’ are prime examples of what makes Ride Forth a clearly welcome return for Exmortus. They are both prime examples of why it is such a welcome return for the band because of the intensity of both their musical and lyrical content. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited as examples thanks to that intensity, too. ‘Death To Tyrants’ could just as easily be cited with its impassioned call to arms against those that rule the world unjustly and its equally powerful musical content. Audiences can hear that song online via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u40otH-jZZw. ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Black Sails’ could also be cited as examples in their own right. Given the amount of material that could be used to exhibit just what makes Ride Forth such an impressive return there is still one more song included in this album that shines bright because of its musical content alone. That song is the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement. The song is just one part of a much larger song. The song in whole runs nearly twenty-five minutes in length. So of course the band wasn’t about to try its hand at the entire composition. That would likely wear out even the most experienced musicians. Heck it even wears out professional, classically trained pianists. To that extent the band can be excused. Taking that into consideration the movement that is presented here in this recording is impressive in its own right. Gonzalez and Rivera are spot on handling the song’s main line. And Cosio is just as impressive as he runs the song’s harmony. All three parts together surprisingly mirror the original composition quite well. It would be unfair to ignore drummer Mario Moreno’s work in this presentation. He stays right on time with his band mates as he adds just enough extra flourish to the song. The cymbal crashes are inserted at just the right points. And his rapid fire footwork on the bass drums is right in time with Cosio’s bass line and even the song’s guitar lines. It’s enough to leave one wondering what a full orchestra version of the song would sound like instead of the song’s typical piano presentation. That’s really saying something about the band members’ talent in taking on a piece that is heavy not in the heavy sense but in terms of the intense concentration and talent that it requires to accomplish it successfully. The song is well over two centuries old. But the band gives it a wonderful new twist all while paying tribute to the original composition. That speaks volumes about the band’s take on the song and about the band’s talent in general. It shows once more why this song is yet another prime example of what makes Ride Forth a welcome return for Exmortus and why alongside the rest of the album’s featured works it is in whole one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Audiences can hear the song for themselves via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDnNIXpu0nQ.

Exmortus’ fourth full-length studio album is a picture of a band that is currently at the peak of its career and talent. The band mixes precision guitar work and drumming with lyrical content that is just as powerful in its own right. The end result is a nine-song, forty-three minute experience that will impress any purist member of the metal nation worldwide. It is an experience that will leave said metal loyalists agreeing with this and many other critics that this record is one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Ride Forth is available now in stores and online. Audiences can order it or download it direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store now at http://prostheticrecords.com/?p=8531. Fans can also pick it up now at any of the band’s live dates. Exmortus is currently touring in support of Ride Forth. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of its latest news and more at:

Website: http://exmortusmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

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.

Time Life’s Latest Hee Haw Collection Is Small But Packs Lots Of Laughs

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment/StarVista Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista Entertainment

CBS’ classic variety series Hee Haw is one of the most surprising series in television’s modern history.  That is because of the length of its run.  It initially ran for two years on CBS from 1969 to 1971 before the network dropped the show, which was originally a replacement for another variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Even after begin cut from CBS’ ranks as part of its “rural purge” the show still managed to stay on the air in a variety of fashions until 1993.  Even after it finally ended its run on television, it still has not stayed dead thanks to Time Life Entertainment.  When the networks relinquished the reins on the show Time Life picked them up and has kept the show alive for yet another generation thanks to its DVD box sets featuring the show’s episodes.  Time Life has been churning out those box sets for a number of years.  And next Tuesday it will release yet another collection of episodes in the form of The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics.  The core element of this collection is its episodes.  Unlike so many Hee Haw collections before it, this collection features only enough episodes to fill a single disc.  More specifically it features just two episodes.  But they are still enjoyable in their own right.  That brings up the disc’s second most important element, the content of said episodes.  There’s plenty of country and bluegrass for fans of those genres.  There are also plenty of laughs to be had in the skits that serve as the episodes’ main body.  Last but not least of note in this latest collection of sorts is its collective production values and companion booklet.  These pieces of the disc’s presentation round out its most notable elements.  They play their own important part in the whole of Time Life Entertainment’s new Hee Haw presentation.  Together with the episodes and their overall content all three elements make The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics a “collection” that any of the show’s fans should have in his or her own home DVD library.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest “collection” of classic Hee Haw episodes is one more that any of the show’s fans should have in his or her own home DVD library.  This is even with the single disc presentation boasting only two episodes.  Even with just two episodes, the episodes in question are still reason enough in itself for fans of the classic variety show to own this disc.  The episodes in question are both true classics.  They are both lifted from the series’ second season and feature plenty of great music and comedy.  Considering that the show was originally pulled from CBS’ lineup after its second season, this latest pairing becomes all the more important for fans.  It is a document of sorts of the show in its infancy; one that is quite rare nowadays.  That is even with so many other Hee Haw sets having been released over the past decade or so.  Of course the two episodes featured in this latest release are collectively just one important element in its overall presentation.  The actual content presented in each of the episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.

The episodes that are featured in Time Life Entertainment’s new Hee Haw collection are in themselves an important part of its overall presentation.    They are only one important and notable element of its presentation.  The actual content within the featured episodes is just as important to the presentation of this disc as the episodes themselves.  What audiences get in these episodes is another sampling of what made (and continues to make) Hee Haw such an undervalued series.  Audiences get the classic doctor skit featuring the doc telling his patients not to do what hurts them, the fan favorite front porch skits with grandpa laying out telling jokes with Roy, and so many laugh riot outtakes that audiences themselves will be laughing tears of joy as they hold their sides on the floor.  This is just a miniscule example of what makes the episodes’ content so important to this release’s presentation.  There are also great performances from the likes of Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Peggy Little and lots more across both episodes.  Between the episodes’ great tunes, the laugh-a-minute skits and equally riotous outtakes included in the episodes, the whole of their presentation makes up for the fact that there are only two episodes featured in this collection.  Both episodes will keep audiences that well entertained. Keeping that in mind, both the episodes featured in this new Hee Haw presentation and their content prove hugely important to its overall presentation. They are not the disc’s only notable elements either. The episodes’ collective production values and the disc’s companion booklet are the last but hardly least important elements. The episodes’ production values—their audio and video mix—is so important to their presentation in that if there was any re-mastering done within these episodes it is nearly unnoticeable. That being the case, the look and sound of the episodes creates a wonderful, welcome sense of nostalgia for those that grew up watching this timeless series. And for those that are part of the new generation, the “rough” look of the show versus the spit-shined look and sound of today’s TV shows serve as a reminder of the life and soul of TV back in that era. The sound wasn’t rough per se. but at the same time, it’s clear that it didn’t have that “modern” sound either. Together with the original footage both elements together give a viewing experience that is in itself more than enough reason to see both episodes. On a related note, the companion booklet that comes with The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics is just as important to its presentation as its collective production values. While there’s no specifics about the episodes’ air dates, audiences do at least get a guide in regards to the episodes’ makeup. More specifically it focuses on the musical performances contained within each episode. Audiences can choose between those performances when they choose the “index” option in the DVD’s main menu. Between the two elements, viewers can pick out from either show with ease which performance(s) they want to see. It would have been nice to choose the skits, too. But in Time Life’s defense, the skits move so fast that separating them out would not have made any real sense in hindsight. To that extent, the companion booklet included with this disc still plays its own important part in the overall presentation of the DVD. Together with the welcome, wonderful nostalgic feel that the footage brings in its production values, the two elements together give one more reason that audiences will want to experience these classic Hee Haw episodes. The same can be said just as easily when setting those elements against the DVD’s episodes and their nonstop, laugh-inciting content. All things considered The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics is one more presentation that any Hee Haw fan will want to add to his or her own DVD library.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest Hee Haw presentation is yet another piece that any fan of the classic variety series should have in his or her own DVD library. This is evident through the classic episodes featured on the disc and their hilarious content. The wonderful and welcome feeling of nostalgia that is created in audiences in watching these episodes through their production values adds even more enjoyment to the disc’s viewing experience. The companion booklet that is included with the DVD even plays its own important role, making the process of choosing one classic performance or another all the easier for audiences. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of the DVD. Altogether they make The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Classics another must have for anyone that grew up with the classic variety series just as much as for the show’s new generation of audiences. It will be available next Tuesday, February 9th and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Hee-Haw-Kornfield-Klassics-DVD/dp/B018DSA8ZW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1454689274&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=The+Hee+haw+Collection+Kornfield+Klassics. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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.