Accept To Release Special Limited Edition 10-Inch Vinyl From Its Upcoming Live Recording

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept will release its new live recording Symphonic Terror — Live at Wacken 2017 late this fall,and in anticipation of its release, the band has announced it will release a special limited edition vinyl single featuring two performances from that recording.

The special 10-inch vinyl single ‘Balls To The Walls / Symphony No. 40 in G Minor’ is currently scheduled to be released October 10 via Nuclear Blast Records.  Both performances included the CNSO Symphony Orchestra.  Physical and digital pre-orders are open now.

Along with the announcement of the upcoming limited edition vinyl single, the band also recently announced a new slate of North American and European live dates.  Three North American dates between September 28 and 30 are scheduled in California.

Once those dates are done, the band will rest up before heading south of the border for the Tecate Mexico Metal Fest on October 6.  From there, the band will head overseas for a handful of European dates, which will eventually be accompanied by additional dates to be announced at a later date.  The band’s current live schedule is noted below.

ACCEPT live:
28.09.  USA     Agoura Hills, CA – The Canyon
29.09.  USA     Pasadena, CA – The Rose
30.09.  USA     Santa Clarita, CA – The Canyon

06.10.  MEX    Monterrey – Tecate México Metal Fest
10.10.  BR       Belém – Botequim
12.10.  BR       Fortaleza – Complexo Armazém (w/ KORZUSMATANZA)
14.10.  BR       São Paulo – Carioca Club
16.10.  BR       Belo Horizonte – MG
02.11.  D         Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept’s upcoming dates will be in support not only of its upcoming live recording, but also its most recent full-length studio recording, The Rise Of Chaos (2017).  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered physically and digitally direct via Nuclear Blast’s online store now.

The Rise of Chaos has generated three hit singles since its release — ‘Koolaid,’ ‘Die By The Sword‘ and its title track.  More information on those single, the album and the band’s upcoming live recording and its limited edition 10-inch vinyl single is available online now along with the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.acceptworldwide.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/accepttheband

 

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Arch Enemy Unveils ‘War Eternal’ Live Video

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Arch Enemy debuted this week a new live video in anticipation of its upcoming live recording As The Stages Burn, which will be released aroudn the world on Friday, March 31 via Century Media Records.

The band released the video for its performance of ‘War Eternal,’ which was recorded at its performance at the Wacken 2016 Open Air Festival.  The blistering performance captures the energy that makes the band just as much a fan favorite live as in the studio.  That is thanks to the expert work of those behind the cameras and the sound board, and those who handled the recording’s post production.  Audiences can check out the video online now here.

The band’s performance of ‘War Eternal’ is just one of a number of other songs included in the band’s set from the 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival. The concert also includes performances of ‘Nemesis,’ ‘You Will Know My Name,’ ‘We Will Rise’ and a number of other songs.

The recording also includes extensive bonus material to enhance fans’ viewing experience.  That bonus material includes music videos, bonus live performances from the band’s 2015 Tokyo performance, and extra behind the scenes material.

The recording will be available as a Limited Edition Deluxe CD/DVD/BD box set in the European Union.  It will be available as a Limited Edition CD/DVD combo pack, gatefold 2 LP/DVD combo pack and on digital platforms everywhere else.

Fans can pre-order the CD/DVD combo and 2 LP/DVD combo pack now here.  Anyone who pre-orders the recording via iTunes and Amazon now will receive ‘War Eternal’ immediately.

Arch Enemy will tour live in Europe in support of As The Stages Burn this spring.  The band will be Bochum, Germany on March 30.  The band will join The Haunted and Lacuna Coil on its upcoming spring European tour.  The tour runs through April 9 in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

The band also has a handful of festival performances scheduled for this summer.  Those dates and the band’s upcoming European dates are all noted below.

ARCH ENEMY “As The Stages Burn” Shows w/Lacuna Coil & The Haunted

March 30th, 2017 – Bochum (Germany), Zeche*
March 31st, 2017 – Leipzig (Germany), Hellraiser*
April 1st, 2017 – Colmar (France), Rock in Hell*
April 2nd, 2017 – Edinburgh (UK), Heavy Scotland
April 4th, 2017 – Langen (Germany), Neue Stadthalle**
April 5th, 2017 – München (Germany), Backstage Werk**
April 6th, 2017 – Saarbrücken (Germany), Garage**
April 7th, 2017 – Durbuy (Belgium), Durbuy Rock Festival**
April 8th, 2017 – Cambrai (France), Betiz Fest*
April 9th, 2017 – Ludwigsburg (Germany), Rockfabrik**

* with The Haunted
** with The Haunted and Lacuna Coil
German shows presented by Metal Hammer and EMP

ARCH ENEMY Festivals 2017
February 2nd, 2017 – 70000 Tons Of Metal – Miami, FL
July 6th, 2017 – Rock Harz Festival, Ballenstedt, Germany
July 14th, 2017 – Gefle Metal Festival , Gävle, Sweden
August 5th, 2017 – Ostrava v Plamenech, Ostrava, Czech Republic
August 10th, 2017 – Leyendas Del Rock, Villena, Spain
August 11th, 2017 – Vagos Metal Fest, Vagos, Portugal
August 12th, 2017 – Into The Grave, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

More information on Arch Enemy’s upcoming live dates, its upcoming live recording and all of its latest news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.archenemy.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/archenemymetal

 

 

 

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Armored Saint Fans Will Want To Get Their Hands On ‘Carpe Noctum’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records had quite a year in 2016, putting out impressive new recordings from Amon Amarth, Wovenwar, Artillery and a number of others.  One of the leading labels in the metal community, Metal Blade has wasted little time in 2017 getting things going.  It will open the new year late next month with the release of Armored Saint’s new live recording Carpe Noctum.  The eight-song, 38-minute recording isn’t necessarily a career-defining collection of songs, but is still impressive in its own right.  It is just one of the elements to note in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  The band’s stage presence is just as important to note in examining the recording’s presentation as its set list.  Considering that the recording will seemingly only be released on CD, its audio mix rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, Carpe Noctum proves to be a recording that Armored Saint fans new and old alike will appreciate.

Armored Saint’s latest live recording Carpe Noctum is a collection of live performances that fans new and old alike will appreciate.  The eight-song, 38-minute recording will be released in stores and online Feb. 24 via Metal Blade Records.  The main element to be examined in this recording is its set list.  The set list takes audiences all the way back to the band’s 1984 debut full-length album March of the Saint and all the way up to the band’s most recent album Win Hands Down (2015).  Along the way, three more of the band’s nine total albums are represented here.  The albums in question are its 1985 sophomore record Delirious Nomad, its 1991 album Symbol of Salvation and its 2010 record La Raza.  According to Metal Blade Records’ summary description of the set list, it appears the set list was pulled from Armored Saint’s set at the 2015 Wacken Open Air Festival and its headlining show at Aschaffenburg, Germany.  In other words, the set list presented here is not one complete concert, but seemingly a collection of performances from two separate concerts.  That would likely account for why the recording features such a limited number of songs in its defense.  This is a good thing in its own right, too.  That is because it provides audiences a more diverse representation of the band’s live show.  Again, fans new and old alike will appreciate this aspect of the recording.

Carpe Noctum’s 8-song, 38-minute set list is an important piece of the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because while not necessarily career-defining, it does at least present some highlights from the band’s extensive span of records.  It also provides audiences a relatively diverse representation of the band’s live show.  That is because it allegedly pulls from not one but two of the band’s live shows.  While the recording’s set list is clearly an important piece of its whole, it is only one of the pieces of the recording that should be considered in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  The band’s performance of said songs is just as important to note as the songs themselves.  Audiences will note in taking in these performances that the band’s members largely let their performances do the talking for them.  Since this recording is only available on CD, it is difficult to know if the songs presented here were presented in the same order as in the original performances.  There could have been some interaction with the audience between songs at those performances.  Again, that can’t be determined here.  That aside, the band members’ performances do plenty to keep listeners’ engaged.  Front man John Bush commands the stage with each performance, his pipes in prime condition.  Drummer Gonzo Sandoval keeps the band moving in each song with his solid time keeping.  The dual guitar approach of Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan adds even more depth to the band’s stage presence.  Of course one would be remiss to ignore bassist Joey Vera’s work on the low end.  Each band member’s performance in itself plays its own critical part to the whole of the performances. They cut through solidly throughout the recording, too.  Altogether, the band members’ performances prove to be just as enjoyable here as the concert’s set list itself.  One can’t help but hope Metal Blade Records will release the concert on DVD and/or Blu-ray, though.  One would be safe assuming those performances would hold even more significance when able to be seen and heard, and not just heard.  Even with that in mind, the band’s overall performances throughout the recording still proves to be just as important to the recording’s presentation as the sets’ featured songs.  While the band members’ performances prove to be just as important to the recording’s presentation as the recording’s featured set list, neither element would be worth discussing without mention of the concert’s audio mix.

The set list at the center of Armored Saint’s new live recording and the band’s performance thereof are both key pieces of the recording’s overall presentation.  That has already been discussed.  They are only a pair of the recording’s most important elements.  Its audio mix forms the recording’s foundation, especially considering that the recording is currently available only on CD.  Those responsible for the recording’s audio mix are to be given their due credit here.  That is because they expertly handled the situation presented in each setting.  The Wacken performances were open, outdoor performances.  This critic can’t say for certain if the band’s other featured performance was outdoor, too.  That aside, those behind the recording’s audio engineering expertly balanced each musician’s part.  No one part overpowered the others at any point throughout the recording.  What’s more, inside or out, audiences aren’t left feeling like they’re listening to a bootleg recording, either.  Believe it or not, there are some “professional” live recordings out there that do in fact sound more like bootlegs than professional recordings.  This recording is not in that category.  To that end, the balance of that element and the balance of the musicians’ own parts in each song proves the importance of the recording’s audio mix to its whole, too.  When that element is set alongside the concert’s set list and the band members’ equally entertaining performances, the whole of the recording proves to be a collection of live performances that Armored Saint fans old and new alike will appreciate.

Armored Saint’s upcoming live recording Carpe Noctum is a collection of live performances that fans new and old alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to its 8-song, 38-minute set list.  The set list isn’t necessarily a career-defining collection of performances.  It only pulls from five of the band’s nine total full-length studio recordings.  However, it does go all the way back to the band’s 1984 debut record and up to the band’s most recent album, 2015’s Win Hands Down.  The set list also allegedly pulls from not one but two of the band’s recent live shows.  The band’s performance of the featured songs is just as enjoyable as the songs themselves.  The audio engineering presented in the recording forms its foundation.  It balances each of the band members’ parts and handles the settings in which the performances were held just as expertly.  Each element is important to note in its own right, as has been noted.  All things considered, they show, once again, that this latest live recording from Armored Saint is a collection of live performances that Armed Saint fans old and new alike will appreciate.  It will be released Feb. 24 in stores and online via Metal Blade Records.  More information on Carpe Noctum is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.armoredsaint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thearmoredsaint

 

 

 

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Metal Purists Will Appreciate UDR Music’s Wacken 2015 Recording

Courtesy: UDR Music

Courtesy: UDR Music

The Wacken Open Air Festival is one of the most renowned hard rock concert festivals if the music industry.  The festival started 26 years ago in the city after which it is named.  Late this summer UDR Music celebrated the festivals 25th anniversary – marked in 2015 – with the release of the festival’s 25th anniversary recording.  Considering that the recording presents the show lineup from the festival’s 25th anniversary, its title is a little bit misleading.  That aside, it is still an enjoyable experience for any purist member of the metal nation worldwide.  That is due in no small part to the lineup presented in the recording.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bands’ performances are just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as is the recording’s presented lineup.  That will be discussed later.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available rounds out the most important of the recording’s elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  All things considered, Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of this year’s top new overall live recordings.

Live at Wacken 2015 – ­26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of 2016’s top new overall live recordings.  It is hardly the first live recording that the festival’s organizers have ever released.  Even with that in mind, it is still an enjoyable recording for the festival’s fans and for the purist metal legions around the world.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s featured performer list.  A total of 107 bands performed on Wacken 2015 between the Bullhead City Circus, Party Stage and double main stage.  It goes without saying that considering that mass of metal, there’s no way that UDR or the fesitval’s organizers could have possibly featured every one of those bands.  Regardless, the featured performer list included in this recording is still impressive in its own right.  That list includes the likes of Judas Priest, Danko Jones, Uli Jon Roth, In Flames, Annihilator and so many others.  Simply put, the perfomer list featured in this recording pulls from a number of metal’s sub genres and from so many eras of metal’s history.  It goes to show the respect that the festival’s organizers and fans have for metal, its history and culture.  Sure, it would have been nice to have Dream Theater included in the featured performer list, or maybe Hellyeah, or even Prong (yes, even Prong performed at Wacken 2015).  But the performer list included in this recording is still impressive in its own right in the end.  Considering this, it should be clear why it is such an important piece of the recording’s presentation.  It is just one of the important elements to note.  The featured acts’ stage presence in their performances is just as important to note here as the acts themselves.

The acts that are featured in UDR Music’s new Wacken Open Air Festival recording are important in their own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because while hardly every one of the bands that performed at the festival, they represent a wide swatch of the metal community and its history.  That means the recording will reach just as wide of an audience.  While the recording’s featured performer list is clearly an important piece of the recording’s presentation, it is hardly the recording’s only important element.  The bands’ stage presence in their performances plays an important part in the recording’s presentation, too.  Rob Halford and company prove the importance of the bands’ performances right from the recording’s outset.  They take the stage and own it with ease.  Halford is at the top of his game both in terms of his vocal talent and his very presence.  Glenn Tipton is just as enjoyable to take in as he works his way through the band’s performance of ‘Painkiller.  On another note, the members of Running Wild are just as impressive as they work through the high-octane ‘Under The Jolly Roger.’  Skindred’s performance of ‘Proceed With Caution’ will have home audiences on their feet just as easily as it did the audience in attendance of the festival.  That is because of the fire and energy exuded by the band throughout its performance.  It is just one more example of the importance of the bands’ performance to the festival recording’s presentation.  One could just as easily cite the performances from My Dying Bride, In Flames, and Death Angel as proof of that importance, too.  All things considered, it is safe to say that every single performance featured in this recording will keep home audiences just as entertained and engaged as the audiences that got to enjoy the festival in person.  Even with all of this in mind, the bands’ performances still are not the last element to note in examining this recording.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available are just as important to note as the previously discussed elements.

The bands that were featured in Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell and their performances are both key elements in examining the festival’s recording.  The featured performer list presents the past, present and future of metal while also presenting a solid cross-section proving what has made the festival so respected for now 26 years.  The featured bands’ performances are so important to note because they will keep home audiences just as entertained and engaged as the audiences who had the honor of experiencing the festival in person.  While both elements are clearly important both alone and collectively to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The platforms on which the recording has been made available are just as important to note as the previously noted elements.  Audiences will be happy to know that the recording has been made available on separate 2 DVD/2 CD and 2 BD/2 CD combo pack.  The DVD set averages approximately $22 and the BD set $23.  Considering that, the various platforms and their prices are relatively affordable for audiences.  The only downside to the sets is that their set lists don’t exactly match.  Not every song featured in the recording’s DVD and BD presentation is included in the recording’s CD platform.  To that end, it is the recording’s only major negative, which is actually a good thing.  That means that the recording’s varied platforms and other discussed elements more than make up for that one negative, as unavoidable as it is to note.  All things considered, Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell proves in the bigger picture to be one of 2016’s top new live recordings as well as one of the year’s top new live DVD/BDs and CDs.  It is available now in stores and online.

Live at Wacken 2015 26 Years Louder Than Hell is one of 2016’s top new live recordings.  That is the case even considering that it does have at least one unavoidable negative.  The recording’s featured performer list and the featured acts’ performances partner with the varied platforms on which the recording has been made available to make the recording an enjoyable experience for any purist member of the metal nation worldwide.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from UDR Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.udr-music.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/udrmusic

 

 

 

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UDR Music To Release 2015 Wacken Festival Recording Next Month

Courtesy: UDR Music

Courtesy: UDR Music

The countdown is officially on.  The 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival is now less than a month away.  Now in its 26th year, the festival, billed as the world’s biggest Metal Festival, will return to its namesake town from August 4th – 6th.  And just in time for the festival’s return, UDR Music has announced a very special collection of performances from the 2015 edition of the festival.

Live at Wacken 2015 – 26 Years Louder Than Hell will be released Friday, August 26th, 2016.  It will be released on two separate combo packs, the first of which will be a four-disc 2 CD/2 DVD combo pack.  The other is a 2 BD/ 2 CD combo pack.  The set lists presented in each platform differ slightly from one to the next in terms of their sequencing but are still very etensive.  They include performances from Judas Priest, In Flames, Sabaton, Danko Jones, Biohazard, Uli Jon Roth, and many others.  The total run time for the compilation is 261 minutes (or four hours and twenty-one minutes).  The full track listing for each platform is noted below.

 

Wacken 2015 – 26 Years Louder Than Hell track listing:

DVD1 / Blu-ray1:
01. JUDAS PRIEST – Painkiller
02. IN FLAMES – Paralyzed
03. IN FLAMES – Everything’s Gone
04. AMORPHIS – My Kantele
05. AMORPHIS – Magic And Mayhem
06. RUNNING WILD – Under Jolly Roger
07. RUNNING WILD – Riding The Storm
08. BEYOND THE BLACK – Rage Before The Storm
09. BEYOND THE BLACK – Songs Of Love And Death
10. ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ – Horsemen
11. ARMORED SAINT – Left Hook From Right Field
12. ANNIHILATOR – Creepin’ Again
13. ANNIHILATOR – Alison Hell
14. DEATH ANGEL – Voracious Soul
15. DEATH ANGEL – Buried Alive
16. EXUMER – Possessed By Fire
17. BURGERKILL – Under The Scars
18. SABATON – To Hell And Back
19. SABATON – Night Witches
20. DANKO JONES – The Twisting Knife
21. DANKO JONES – Full Of Regret
22. ULI JON ROTH – Dark Lady
23. ULI JON ROTH – Virgin Killer
24. THE POODLES – Night Of Passion
25. EUROPE – War Of Kings
26. EUROPE – The Second Day

DVD2 / Blu-ray2:
01. BIOHAZARD – How It Is
02. BIOHAZARD – Punishment
03. KATAKLYSM – As I Slither
04. KATAKLYSM – To Reign Again
05. CANNIBAL CORPSE – Scourge Of Iron
06. CANNIBAL CORPSE – Evisceration Plague
07. CRADLE OF FILTH – Burn In A Burial Gown
08. CRADLE OF FILTH – Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
09. ANAAL NATHRAKH – Idol
10. SKINDRED – Kill The Power
11. SKINDRED – Proceed With Caution
12. OOMPH! – Augen auf
13. OOMPH! – Gott ist ein Popstar
14. SANTIANO – Gott muss ein Seemann sein
15. SANTIANO – Lieder der Freiheit
16. IN EXTREMO – Himmel und Hölle
17. IN EXTREMO – Feuertaufe
18. KÄRBHOLZ – Ich hör mir beim Leben zu
19. GODSIZED – Welcome To Hell
20. THE ANSWER – Raise A Little Hell
21. MY DYING BRIDE – Turn Loose The Swans
22. MANTAR – Into The Golden Abyss
23. SAVAGE MACHINE – Prisoners Of War (METAL BATTLE)
24. BLAAKYUM – Baal Adon (METAL BATTLE)
25. METAPRISM – Reload (METAL BATTLE)
26. WALKWAYS – Half The Man I Am (METAL BATTLE)
27. VESPERIA – Iron Saga (METAL BATTLE)

CD1:
01. JUDAS PRIEST – Painkiller
02. IN FLAMES – Paralyzed
03. AMORPHIS – My Kantele
04. RUNNING WILD – Under Jolly Roger
05. BEYOND THE BLACK – Rage Before The Storm
06. ARCHITECTS OF CHAOZ – Horsemen
07. ARMORED SAINT – Left Hook From Right Field
08. ANNIHILATOR – Alison Hell
09. DEATH ANGEL – Buried Alive
10. EXUMER – Possessed By Fire
11. BURGERKILL – Under The Scars
12. SABATON – To Hell And Back
13. DANKO JONES – Full Of Regret
14. ULI JON ROTH – Virgin Killer
15. THE POODLES – Night Of Passion
16. EUROPE – War Of Kings

CD2:
01. BIOHAZARD – How It Is
02. KATAKLYSM – To Reign Again
03. CANNIBAL CORPSE – Evisceration Plague
04. CRADLE OF FILTH – Burn In A Burial Gown
05. ANAAL NATHRAKH – Idol
06. SKINDRED – Proceed With Caution
07. OOMPH! – Gott ist ein Popstar
08. SANTIANO – Gott muss ein Seemann sein
09. IN EXTREMO – Himmel und Hölle
10. KÄRBHOLZ – Ich hör mir beim Leben zu
11. GODSIZED – Welcome To Hell
12. THE ANSWER – Raise A Little Hell
13. MY DYING BRIDE – Turn Loose The Swans
14. MANTAR – Into The Golden Abyss
15. SAVAGE MACHINE – Prisoners Of War (METAL BATTLE)
16. BLAAKYUM – Baal Adon (METAL BATTLE)
17. METAPRISM – Reload (METAL BATTLE)
18. WALKWAYS – Half The Man I Am (METAL BATTLE)
19. VESPERIA – Iron Saga (METAL BATTLE)

 

Pre-orders for Live at Wacken 2015 – 26 Years Louder Than Hell will be available soon.  More information on this and other titles from UDR Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.udr-music.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UDR.Music

Twitter: http://twitter.com/udrmusic

 

 

 

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.

Win Hands Down Wins Hands Down

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Veteran hard rock band Armored Saint’s latest full-length LP Win Hands Down is a rather aptly titled release. That is because the recently released album does indeed win hands down. That is obvious from the album’s full throttle hard rock anthem of an opener to the more socially conscious commentary of ‘That Was Then, Way Back Then,’ to the old school hard rock throwback that closes out the album in ‘Up Yours,’ Every one of the tracks on this record show in their own way what makes this seventh full-length release from Armored Saint some of its best work to date and one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal field.

Win Hands Down proves from beginning to end in its latest full-length release that the almost hour-long album is one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal field. From beginning to end, the band keeps hard rock and metal purists with a brand of rock that seemed all but extinct nowadays. That is made clear right from the album’s full throttle opener and title track. Both lyrically and musically, this song shows itself to be a pure throwback to everything that once made hard rock and metal great. The driving dual guitar attack of Jeff Duncan and Phil Sandoval coupled with drummer Gonzo Sandoval’s equally solid, up-tempo time keeping in this song instantly conjures thoughts of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and so many other legendary acts of that ilk. Front man John Bush adds even more to that with his powerhouse vocals as he sings, “This is an ode to all my old buddies/The ones that helped me realize when s*** was funny/Cut our teeth/A kick in the a**/Tackling life there’s just one chance/Mischief makers p*** some off/Deal with consequences or not/Roaming the city/Eyes open wide/Every adversary is urged to hide.” Not only does Bush actually sing his way through the verse (and the rest of the album’s songs), but he also makes no bones about the song’s subject material. The song is a tribute to his old childhood friends and those of his band mates. That is made even clearer as he sings in the song’s second verse, “Like some royal decree/A verbal contract/You’re with me/And man I got your back/Seeking adventure every which way/Knowing full well there may be hell to pay/Adolescence in full swing/A booming voice we’re gonna bring/So much that this platoon can do/Bread and circus is the rule.” The line in which Bush notes “Adolescence in full swing” makes the strongest argument about the song’s topic. Coupled with the rest of the song’s lyrical content, audiences get a picture of a group of friends simply going out and enjoying life and all that it brings good or bad. Such a concept seems rare in today’s hard rock and metal communities. Because it seems to be so rare, it makes the combination of the song’s lyrics and its now almost celebratory musical content a whole that proves to be one of the best hard rock anthems to come along in a long time.

‘Win Hands Down’ is one of the best hard rock anthems to come along in a very long time. Being the opening track to Armored Saint’s new album, it is also a clear example of what makes the band’s latest full-length effort one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal records. The record’s seemingly socially conscious midpoint ‘That Was Then, Way Back Then’ is another example of what makes Win Hands Down work so well. Much as with the album’s opener this song also can be argued to be another throwback to a great era of rock. The argument is supported through the song’s musical content. Yet again, Bush actually sings his way through the song. Even better, audiences can actually understand what Bush is saying as he makes his way through the song. On a related note, Bush’s band mates give the song a certain attitude for lack of better wording thanks to their combined talents. This is very important when taking note of the song’s lyrical content. The lyrical content in question comes across, as previously noted, as a social commentary of sorts with Bush singing, “I drift on back a couple of decades/And regress to a time when I was king/The future seems so uncertain/But the past is a place I could do anything/Give me a phone call/Send me a text/I even gave you/Your own unique ring. This verse within itself paints a damning picture of someone that is extremely full of himself or herself and who would much rather live in the past than the present. This argument is solidified even more as Bush sings in the song’s opening verse, “I’m taking a walk to the neighborhood psychic/Want to find out what’s in store for the day/Got all my pictures strewn across Facebook/Want to be liked in a desperate way/I market myself/It’s a foregone conclusion/I dish out winks in this busy foray.” Yet again, Bush paints a picture of someone that seems to be entirely wrapped up in his or her own self-importance. Everyone out there knows someone just like the figure portrayed here. The musical content exhibited in the song accents the mindset of said person expertly with its tone and its energy. Both elements combined, they show exactly why this song is yet another impressive addition to a record that is, once again, one of the band’s best records to date and one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal field.

‘Win Hands Down’ and ‘That Was Then, Way Back When’ are both prime examples of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy Armored Saint’s latest full-length effort. While they both serve as excellent examples of what makes Win Hands Down such a solid record, they are hardly the only positives exhibited in this record. The album’s closer ‘Up Yours’ puts the exclamation point on the statement made throughout the album’s nearly hour-long run time. In terms of its musical content, the song’s tone and its energy does an impressive job of illustrating the thought patter and tension in the song’s speaker. Bush adds to that depth with his own vocal delivery style as he sings, “Seems to be a delusion of grandeur/A twisted f***ed up matter/A distorted sense of wrong and right/And that aint right/Got your app with the police scanner/Mapped out daily planner/And the krav maga trainer in case of a fight.” This verse alone paints quite the picture. It paints a picture of someone who perhaps isn’t necessarily firing on all eight cylinders. That argument is strengthened as he sings earlier in the song, “A stroll in the park can be a moment of zen/But you lurking in the dark/Begging to be my friend/Can really rub/Rub me the wrong way/Following my tracks is what you do/Although I never remember ever giving a clue/Or a hint or a blatant come with me.” This verse makes the picture of the subject’s object of hatred even richer. It reveals that person to be someone that is quite gone for lack of better wording. Bush’s speaker here is going after that person, letting him or her know in no uncertain terms just how messed up in the head he or she is. Again, the musical side of this song puts the finishing touch on that statement. Both elements together make ‘Up Yours’ just as perfect of a closer as the album’s title track is as an opening number. It puts the final touch on the statement that, as already noted earlier, Win Hands Down Wins Hands Down. Whether for this song,the album’s opener, its seemingly socially conscious midpoint, or for any of the remaining half-dozen tracks that round out the record, all nine tracks together make Win Hands Down one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal field.

Win Hands Down is Armored Saint’s best work to date in the veteran hard rock band’s now three decades-plus together. The nine track, fifty-one minute record is unlike so much of what is currently being offered to the hard rock and metal legions around the world today. It is a tribute to all that once made hard rock and metal great. That is made clear through the album’s full-throttle opener and title tracks, its seemingly socially conscious midpoint, and its equally solid closer ‘Up Yours.’ All three songs show in their own way just why Win Hands Down…welll wins hands down. They are just a small sample of what makes this record such a hit, too. The remaining half-dozen tracks not noted here could just as easily be argued as prime examples of what makes Win Hands Down so enjoyable. All things considered Win Hands Down shows in the end to be a record that every hard rock and metal purist will enjoy and should have in his or her own music library. That is because it does in fact win hands down. The band is currently touring in support of Win Hands Down. It is scheduled to perform live at this year’s annual Wacken Open Air Festival next Friday, July 31st. Fans can check out the band’s latest tour dates and get all of the latest news from the band online now at:

Website: http://www.armoredsaint.com

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

Fans can pick up Win Hands Down in stores and online now via Metal Blade’s online store at http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/search/?q=Armored+Saint+Win+Hands+Down. 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.

Slayer To Release Ltd. Ed. Vinyl 7″ Picture Disc For Record Store Day

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Slayer will release its first new song in nearly a year when it releases ‘When The Stillness Comes’ this spring.

Slayer recently announced that ‘When The Stillness Comes’ will be part of a special, limited edition 7” vinyl picture disc that will be released on April 18th, 2015—Record Store Day. The song will be accompanied by a live performance of ‘Black Magic,’ which was included in the band’s 1983 album Show No Mercy. The performance in question was taken from the band’s performance at the 2014 Wacken Open Air Festival.

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Only 5,000 copies of the special double-sided disc will be available worldwide. That means that not every indie record store taking part in Record Store Day will be lucky enough to get copies. A full listing of stores taking part in Record Store Day this year is available online at https://www.recordstoreday.com. Slayer is currently putting the final touches on its eleventh full-length studio release, which is set for release in stores and online later this year. More information on that album is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: https://www.slayer.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/slayer

Myspace: https://www.myspace.com/slayer

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.