Tag Archives: epic records

Judas Priest @ Prudential Center (3/20/2018)

Artist: Judas Priest
Venue: Prudential Center (Newark, NJ)
Opener: Saxon and Black Star Riders
Date: 3/20/2018
Label: Epic Records

As a card-carrying Heavy Metal fan for pretty much four decades now, I was super excited that 2018 would not only find us receiving a brand-new Judas Priest album, but also a healthy tour that would visit a lot of states on our side of the pond. The tour was sure to be an exciting one since The Priest had lined out that both Black Star Riders and the legendary Saxon would be joining them as they celebrated “Firepower”. Sadly, the band wouldn’t be hitting any of the Big Apple arenas outside of Long Islands Nassau Coliseum but that was fine since the nearby Prudential Center in Newark, NJ would be on the docket. Here’s my summary of the rock-solid event.

Black Star Riders: The BSR were up first and if you don’t know too much about the band, you should know that this began as an offshoot to a rebuilt Thin Lizzy. After a brief reunion tour by that famous moniker, the new material was released under a new branding out of respect of their storied past and would find Damon Johnson, Robbie Crane and Chad Szeliga joining up with Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick. The band is a solid one and has been signed to Nuclear Blast Records for a few years now. Their set is a blending of new sure to be classics along with numbers that are long in our musical hearts from the Thin Lizzy catalog. Tonight, they would not deliver too many of the legendary bands numbers outside of “Jailbreak” and instead would focus on their new albums material. Speaking frankly, I would have preferred that they mixed it up a little better since there was a lot of people coming in tonight that would be getting into place by the time Saxon would hit and I think more would have tried to be earlier if they knew more of the songs. That being said, the early and short set that they delivered was a solid one. I still need to get the new album myself and once I do you can count on a comprehensive overview here on the website. Now it was time for Saxon so all the excite right? You betcha.

BSR Set: All Hell Breaks Loose, Jailbreak, Heavy Fire, Soldiertown, The Killer Instinct, When The Night Comes In, Kingdom Of The Lost, Bound For Glory.
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Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” Still Rocking At 40 (1977-2017)

For crying out loud my readers, can you believe that “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf is now hitting its “Fabulous Fortieth” Anniversary? Yes my friends this album, while the second of Meat’s storied career was released on this very day back in 1977 and what an album it was. Composed in full by Jim Steinman, this release began the pairs historic collaboration during a very interesting time in music history. As a score this one is bombastic to the nth degree and from the moment it begins with the title track brings you deep into the story of a biker who is heading for the great unknown despite his unawareness of this being the case. This track remains a favorite based on its flourishing intro part and it was something I always tried to master as an up and coming musician. I got some of it but hey I was young. Oh yeah and before I get carried away here please remember that this isn’t as much line by line history and more of a personal reflection on the body of work. All of the finer details are locked into the Wikipedia entry if you’d like some deeper fact checking. So where was I. Oh yeah so this one was a killer if you glanced at the liner notes and featured players such as Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Max Weinberg, Edgar Winter, Roy Bittan, Ellen Foley and of course Jim Steinman. Rundgren would produce the album when no one else really wanted to. This one was a hard sell to the record companies of the day and that surprised me just a little bit since they were already open to bands like KISS, Judas Priest and Angel. Two of which could be considered “way out there” by the times standards.

The song “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” was an immediate radio hit or at least I believed that it was since I heard it on so many radio stations back in the day. My parents had a rocking side to them so traditional Rock Radio was something that was listened to in my household quite a bit. I think that was what led them to grabbing me the album because if they didn’t my copy came from one of those Record Clubs that let you snag a bunch of albums for a penny. I think everyone that I knew back as a youth took advantage of that “deal” and then was shell-shocked by how high the albums cost for you to make good with the company for the super discount but I digress.
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Raising A Glass To A Classic: Boston’s “Boston” Debut Is Forty (1976-2016)

There have really been a lot of Music Milestones to raise a glass to in 2016 and for me personally a whole bunch of them came out in 1986 when I was a very active consumer and spending so much of my meager earnings at the local record store. This latest toast brings us back to 1976 where on this very day the debut album by the band Boston was released. It was very simply titled – “Boston”. Happy Fortieth to this absolutely classic release. Now I should stress that I didn’t purchase this one on the day of its release as I would have only been eleven years old at the time but as I sift through the memories I’d like to say that I had heard it from at least my own 13th year of life. “Boston” was an instant hit to my recollection and I used to listen to Rock radio stations like WPLJ and WNEW from an early age which meant the first singles from the record “More Than a Feeling” and “Foreplay/Longtime” had been in regular rotation on the airwaves for a couple of years by then. Once I was allowed to use money in the fashion that I best saw that I wanted to it would be one of the very first albums that I would purchase. The younger set has it so much easier with that kind of restriction I am thinking. As with other toasts, I am keeping this to personal recall more than the overall historical notes since you can find them all on the Wikipedia entry at the close. So now back to that.
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Ozzy Osbourne’s “The Ultimate Sin” Is Thirty Years Old Today

In 1986 I was finding myself getting far more broad in terms of my Metal appreciation and this was thanks to many of the influential artists that had released works during the previous couple of years. I was an active musician at the time and since one could count on Metal music videos being showcased on MTV around this time, it was easy to let the Heavy Metal genre take you over and to worlds of heavy that you had only dreamed of. Thirty years ago on this day in music history, Ozzy Osbourne would release his fourth solo album with “The Ultimate Sin”; it was produced by Ron Nevison and had some stunning cover art by the legendary Boris Vallejo (who many might visually recall from paintings of Conan the Barbarian and Doc Savage). The album would be the second with guitarist Jake E. Lee and he wrote most of the compositions on this one and he and Ozzy were joined by a completely new rhythm section with Randy Castillo on drums (who came from Lita Ford’s band originally) and bassist Phil Soussan. Historically speaking this would be Soussans only album with the group and Lee’s final recorded work with the Prince Of Darkness. The video for “Shot In The Dark” was a mainstay on MTV and you would see it broadcast at various points of the day as opposed to how it might only be shown in the evening but of course MTV rarely shows videos these days and instead gives us marathons of “The Real Mob Housewives of Slobovia” instead (not a real program of course but you get my drift). The release came care of Epic Records which was founded by Columbia Music. In today’s music geography both are a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
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Lamb Of God Announces Spring Headlining Tour w/Clutch & Corrosion Of Conformity

Hopefully a large bunch of you wild and crazy Metalheads were able to enjoy the killer winter tour by Lamb Of God with Anthrax, Deafheaven and Powertrip because you missed a monster if you didn’t. My head was ringing for days and the pain in my neck from the head-banging has finally subsided. Anyway, the band has just unveiled a list of tour dates for the Spring and will be bringing along Clutch (direct support) and Corrosion Of Conformity. Check out the full press release we received and the dates. I’ll return at the end with some additional thoughts.

Tour - Lamb Of God - Spring 2016

The Press Release:
This week, LAMB OF GOD wraps up their winter tour with special guests Anthrax and supporters Deafheaven and Power Trip. If you did not get a chance to catch them on this tour, you will soon – LAMB OF GOD is pleased to announce their next U.S. headline tour, which kicks off Saturday, April 30th and features support from renowned rockers Clutch and heavy metal veterans Corrosion of Conformity. Throughout the tour, LAMB OF GOD will perform at several festivals, including Bonnaroo, Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion, Welcome To Rockville, Rock’n Derby, and more.
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