Tommy Shaw of Styx Shares Cover of Led Zeppelin Classic “Going To California”

Singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw of Styx has shared a previously unreleased acoustic version of the Led Zeppelin classic, “Going to California” via Styx’s label, Alpha Dog 2T, Inc. It will be available for streaming only on all digital platforms, including Spotify, starting today. While it was recorded many years ago, Shaw thought it was the perfect time to pull it out of the vault for fans to enjoy.

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Enforcer – Zenith

Unashamedly 1980’s in their approach to Metal, Enforcer were formed in Sweden in 2004 but it could just as easily have been LA in 1982. All leather, spandex, studded belts and dodgy haircuts, the Scandinavian four-piece tend to unfairly get lumped in with novelty acts such as Steel Panther, but are easily one of the better exponents of the retro Metal movement.

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Obsidian Sea – Strangers

Whilst steadily garnering a reputation in their native Balkans, Bulgarian trio Obsidian Sea finally saw some US action in 2016 with a repress of second album Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (Nuclear War Now! Records). Third album Strangers sees a Ripple Music release that will undoubtedly propel the psych-Doom outfit further. Continue reading

Styx Live Event Airing On AXS TV March 15th, Def Leppard Co Headline Tour Dates Announced

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Styx will be airing a brand new live event on AXS TV on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 8 pm Eastern Time/5 pm Pacific Time, filmed at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV in front of a sold out audience during 2014’s “The Soundtrack of Summer” tour.

They performed many of their greatest hits, including “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” and “The Grand Illusion.” They even dug deep into their catalog for such fan favorites as “Light Up,” and were joined on stage by tour mate and former Eagles guitar legend Don Felder for “Blue Collar Man.” Felder’s show earlier that same night was also filmed for AXS TV, which will air immediately following Styx’s special. Felder’s special culminates with special guest Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw trading vocals and the classic electric guitar licks on “Hotel California.”

The current line up is Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar), James “JY” Young (guitar, vocals), Chuck Panozzo (bass), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Ricky Phillips (bass) and Todd Sucherman (drums)

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They are currently preparing for a string of headline dates, and then a co-headlining tour with Def Leppard with Tesla supporting.

Styx Headlining:

Feb 26: The Joint/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa – Tulsa, OK
Feb 27: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
Feb 28: Billy Bob’s Texas – Fort Worth, TX
Mar 12: House of Blues – N Myrtle Beach, NC
Mar 13: Harrah’s Cherokee Pavilion – Cherokee, NC
Mar 14: Universal Studios Florida/Music Plaza Stage – Orlando, FL
Mar 20: Riverwind Casino – Norman, OK
Mar 21: Kansas Star Arena – Mulvane, KS

Styx With Def Leppard and Tesla:

Jun 25: Cruzan Amphitheater – West Palm Beach, FL
Jun 27: Oak Mountain Amphitheatre – Birmingham, AL
Jun 28: Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood – Atlanta, GA
Jun 30: PNC Music Pavillion Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
Jul 02: Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA
Jul 03: Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach – Virginia Beach, VA
Jul 05: Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
Jul 07: Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook – Gilford, NH
Jul 09: Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA
Jul 11: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – Bethel, NY
Jul 12: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center – Darien Lake, NY
Jul 14: Molson Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON
Jul 17: DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston, MI
Jul 23: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
Jul 24: SPAC – Saratoga Springs, NY
Jul 25: PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
Aug 07: Mississippi Valley Fair – Davenport, IA (Styx Only)
Aug 08: Sioux Falls Arena – Sioux Falls, SD
Aug 11: Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO
Aug 14: Missouri State Fair – Sedalia, MO
Aug 15: Iowa State Fair – Des Moines, IA
Aug 17: Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
Aug 18: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Aug 21: Gexa Energy Pavilion – Dallas, TX
Aug 22: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – Woodlands, TX
Aug 23: Austin360 Amphitheater – Austin, TX
Aug 27: Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, MN
Aug 28: Alerus Center – Grand Forks, ND
Aug 30: Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
Sep 01: The Great Allentown Fair – Allentown, PA
Sep 03: KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, KY
Sep 04: Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Maryland Heights, MO
Sep 05: First Midwest Bank Amphitheater – Tinley Park, IL
Sep 16: White River Amphitheatre – Auburn, WA
Sep 17: Amphitheater Northwest – Ridgefield, WA
Sep 19: Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA
Sep 22: Sleep Train Amphitheatre – Chula Vista, CA
Sep 23: Ak-Chin Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ
Sep 25: Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque NM
Sep 26: Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
Sep 28: USANA Amphitheatre – West Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 30: Spokane Arena – Spokane, WA
Oct 02: Breeden Fieldhouse – Bozeman, MT
Oct 04: Bismarck Civic Center – Bismarck, ND

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Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

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If you felt the debut album from Arkansas quartet Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction, contained some of the most emotive doom ever, think again. New album Foundations of Burden (Profound Lore) is an adventurous journey through space for the lost, solitary soul on their way to meet their maker.

Weighty, yet melancholic and melodic, much like its predecessor it is shot through with a healthy dose of the best of ’70s radio rock, nonetheless there are noticeable differences here. The first of these is the sacrifice of a small amount of Sorrow…‘s heaviness in favour of a more textured, progressive sound. There is also the addition of harmonised backing vocals which, far from detracting from overall enjoyment, shows the evolution of a highly skilled, creative unit, unafraid to escape its comfort zone.

Opener ‘Worlds Apart’ has a number of movements, flowing from a crunching mid-paced opening into a mid-section of guided atmospherics with the coda of staggering effects-laden leads accompanied by funereal, subterranean riffs, all wonderfully decorated by Brett Campbell‘shoneyed yet soaring vocals. The ensuing ‘Foundations’ begins with complex yet deliberate rhythms, the sound of a burning rocket having developed a slightly woven path of orbit, those deliciously doleful tones seemingly lamenting yet justifying its straying from the line.

‘Watcher in the Dark’ is a mournful titan with an apocalyptic central duel of leads and coruscating riffs rising from a sparkling rhythm section and Joseph D. Rowland‘s MOR-style piano, to a remarkable and euphoric finale. Mark Lierly’s drums are increasingly dictatorial and demand attention, whilst the resonant solo work descends to a languid tone before a moving explosion of sorrow, with Campbell’s towering tones an aching call to the wilderness. Lush synths ease into the evocative, phenomenal, ‘The Ghost I Used to Be’ as Campbell’s voice fluctuates between Ozzy Osbourne and Steve Perry before the riff taking centre stage, orchestrating time changes, leading to an amazing closing solo. Unbelievably, even this staggering behemoth is surpassed by a stroke of genius – the heart-breaking beauty of the brief, delicate ballad ‘Ashes’, a track that would be at home on any Styx record, yet still retains an air of gravity. Closer ‘Vanished’ displays all that power and subtlety, possessing a booming production that heightens the contrast of resonant, harmonic chants and the fulminating power of riff and drums.

Superlatives and panegyrics are thrown around like confetti these days, and mostly for albums that just don’t deserve them. Here is an entity beyond words. The blend of crushing weight and sadness that twines with an almost paradoxical ascension to light throughout this quite magnificent set is sublime and inspirational. If the prog-rock outfit Kansas suffered a year of deep personal loss, down-tuned to hell, and proceeded to embody the grief and subsequent healing in an album, the result would be Foundation of Burden. This willingness to puncture doom’s boundaries and travel outside them surely hails Pallbearer as the most important band of their genre right now.

 

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10.0/10.0

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PAUL QUINN

 

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