Amon Amarth launches video for new single, “Crack the Sky”

On May 3rd, Amon Amarth will release their 11th full-length, Berserker, via Metal Blade Records (North America)/Sony Music (International)! For a preview of the album, the video for the new single, “Crack the Sky”, can be viewed at:http://www.amonamarth.com

Directed by Roboshobo, “Crack the Sky” is the second of a trilogy of music videos from Berserker (the first clip being “Raven’s Flight”) – each one increasingly epic in its scope, further immersing the viewer in the world of Amon Amarth. Much like the songs on Berserker, the videos present Amon Amarthto its fullest. The cast features Josh Barnett as “the Berserker” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Barnett) and Erick Rowan as “Thor” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erick_Rowan), among others. 

To pre-order Berserker, please visit amonamarth.lnk.to/berserker – where the album is available in the following formats: 
–digipak-CD
–deluxe box set [digipak-CD, shield (~12″x12″), patch (~4″x4″) – limited to 500 copies in US] 
–opaque white w/ black splatter vinyl (limited to 1200 copies) 
–opaque white w/ silver haze vinyl (retail exclusive – limited to 1300 copies) 
–clear w/ red splatter vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies) 
–black w/ red haze vinyl (webstore exclusive – limited to 750 copies) 

Comprising 12 monstrous heavy metal anthems that bulge with irresistible melodic hooks, bursts of thrilling savagery and moments of spine-tingling dynamic drama, Berserker is the result of the huge surge of creativity and a collective desire to keep moving forward with no compromise. From the disarming melodrama and explosive riffing of opener “Fafner’s Gold” and the brutish simplicity of the rampaging “Crack The Sky” to the epic fury of “Raven’s Flight” and the grim, gritty storytelling of “Ironside” and “Skoll and Hati”, Berserker is an album full of trademark Amon Amarth bluster and bite but with every aspect of the band’s sound somehow refined, sonically enhanced and made vastly more potent, both in terms of metal oomph and emotional power. Neatly summing up the spirit behind these exhilarating new songs is the album’s semi-title track, “The Berserker At Stamford Bridge”: a visceral but vivid historical tale, recounting the Vikings last stand against the English army in 1066 and the mind-bending heroics of one axe-wielding warrior. 

Showcasing an undeniable and startling upgrade for every aspect of Amon Amarth‘s iconic sound, Berserker was recorded in Los Angeles with renowned studio guru Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) manning the controls. After recording several rounds of professional demos for the new songs (initially with fellow Swedish metal icon Peter Tägtgren and then later with Ruston himself) the band crossed the Atlantic to make final the recordings in LA, eager to take a fresh approach to the album-making process. 

“For me, this is Amon Amarth 2.0,” vocalist Johan Hegg declares. “I think what we’ve done here is give ourselves the space to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band. If you’re content with where you’re at, what’s the point of continuing? We always want to come up with new ideas and find new ways of doing things and to create bigger and better shows and really try to improve every aspect of what the band is. We want to try to keep growing and to do this for as long as we have the possibility to do so, because this is the best fucking job in the world.”

The cast for “Crack the Sky” also features Tess Kielhammer as “Demon Boss” (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4178569/), Shanie Rusth as “Shield Maiden” (https://www.herexchange.net/her-story/2018/9/11/shanie-rusth), Erik Arevalo (https://www.instagram.com/theerikhammer/?hl=en), Victor Henry (https://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Victor-Henry-52195), and Canadian WWE legend Viktor as “Demon Henchman” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor), and many more. 

Berserker track-listing
1. Fafner’s Gold
2. Crack the Sky
3. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
4. Shield Wall
5. Valkyria
6. Raven’s Flight
7. Ironside
8. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
9. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark 

In support of Berserker, Amon Amarth will head out on the road with Slayer, Lamb of God, and Cannibal Corpse in North America, starting May 2nd. See below for all dates! 

Slayer “Leg Five: North America” tour dates
w/Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse

May 2 – Ak-Chin Amphitheatre – Phoenix, AZ
May 3 – Isleta Amphitheatre – Albuquerque, NM
May 5 – UTEP/Don Haskins Center – El Paso, TX
May 7 – Bert Ogden Arena – Edinburg, TX
May 8 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Dallas, TX
May 10 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
May 11 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL
May 13 – Big Sandy Superstore Arena – Huntington, WV
May 14 – Merriweasther Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
May 16 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center – Noblesville, IN
May 17 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS
May 19 – DTE Energy Music Center – Clarkston, MI
May 20 – Covel Centre – Youngstown, OH
May 22 – Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ON
May 24 – BB&T Pavilion – Camdel, NJ
May 25 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA 

This September heavy metal overlords Amon Amarth will descend from the land of ice and snow to headline a history-making charge across North America with fellow Swedish warlords and carnage is on the menu. 

Berserker World Tour – Raid Of North American Dates
w/Arch Enemy, At The Gates, and Grand Magus

September 26 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
September 27 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
September, 28 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Forum
September 30 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Convention Centre
October 1 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle
October 3 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
October 4 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
October 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater
October 7 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theater
October 9 – Toronto, ON – Rebel
October 10 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
October 12 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
October 15 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
October 16 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
October 18 – New Orleans, LA – The Fillmore
October 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
October 20 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre
October 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues
October 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
October 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Palladium 

Amon Amarth online:
http://www.amonamarth.com

Prog-rock Pioneers Crack the Sky To Play New York City for the First Time in over 20 Years, April 20 at the Loft at City Winery

NEW ALBUM LIVING IN REVERSE AND CAREER RETROSPECTIVE CRACKOLOGY WERE RELEASED AUGUST 24, 2018

LIVING IN REVERSE CRACKED THE CHARTS WITH THEIR HIGHEST CHARTING DEBUT IN 40 YEARS

L to R: Bobby Hird, Dave DeMarco, Joey D’Amico, John Palumbo, Rick Witkowski, Glenn Workman
Photo Credit: Rei Perri

Prog-rock pioneers Crack The Sky, whoRolling Stone Magazine calls “…the Best U.S. Prog Band You’ve Never Heard,” return to New York for the first time in over 20 years to play a special show at The Loft At City Winery Saturday April 20, 2019.  “For the last 20 years, our New York-area fans have had to travel south to come see us, so we are all very excited to finally bring the party to them,” said the band.  “We couldn’t be more thrilled to play for them and return to New York City after all of these years. It’s long overdue!”

On January 1, 1976 Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone magazine called the debut album by Crack The Sky “…one of year’s most impressive debuts.”  Now, some 40 years later, the band cracked the charts with their highest charting debut in 40 years with their new studio album Living In Reverse.  It charted at #7 Heatseekers, #31 Independent Current Albums, and #40 Top Current Albums.  The band also released Crackology, a collection of 12 career favorites.  Both came out on August 24, 2018 on Loud & Proud Records.

Living In Reverse showcases 12 new genre-defying Crack tracks that Vintage Guitar calls “…heavy Beatlesque pop” including “Talk Talk” – the lyric video was included in the recent Rolling Stone feature, “RainingRain” which Billboard Magazine premiered, and Living In Reverse” which Relix premiered.   The retrospective Crackology chronicles a dozen of the best re-recorded gems as culled from the band’s rich and storied 40-year catalog. Goldmine Magazine said, “…on both albums, Crack the Sky surges with the vitality and energy of a young band, bringing so much ‘crack’ to the older songs that Crackology sounds just as fresh as Living in Reverse.”  Vintage Guitar said “…Crack The Sky is rockin’ better than ever.”

Tickets for their April 20 New York show are on sale now through The Loft At City Winery here.

Crack The Sky is
John Palumbo – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Rick Witkowski – Guitars & Vocals
Joey D’Amico – Drums & Vocals
Bobby Hird – Guitars & Vocals
Glenn Workman – Keyboards & Vocals
Dave DeMarco – Bass & Vocals

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Foo Fighters Release Song/Video for “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” and Foo Fighters Constellation Viewer App

FOO FIGHTERS
“THE SKY IS A NEIGHBORHOOD”
NEW TRACK AND GROHL-DIRECTED VIDEO LIVE NOW AT http://smarturl.it/FFSKY

EXPLORE THE SKY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WITH THE FOO FIGHTERS CONSTELLATION VIEWER AT
https://sky.foofighters.com/

CONCRETE AND GOLD OUT SEPTEMBER 15 ON ROSWELL RECORDS / RCA RECORDS

U.S. TOUR KICKS OFF OCTOBER 7 WITH CAL JAM 17
12 HOURS OF THE WORLD’S BEST LIVE ROCK N ROLL Including QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, CAGE THE ELEPHANT, LIAM GALLAGHER, THE KILLS, ROYAL BLOOD & MANY MORE
For More Information Visit Caljamfest.com

Following the overwhelmingly massive reception to the MTV Video Music Award-nominated, Mainstream Rock #1 track “Run,” Foo Fighters have delivered a second consecutive contender for rock anthem of 2017 in the form of “The Sky Is A Neighborhood.” Described by Grohl as “the biggest thing sonically that we’ve ever done,” “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” is also the piece de resistance that effectively completed Foo Fighters’ forthcoming ninth album, Concrete and Gold.

“One night I was lying out looking up at stars,” Grohl recalls. “Just imagining all of these stars as places that have life on them as well, and I decided that the sky is a neighborhood, that we need to keep our shit together in order to survive in this universe full of life. But I had no music yet. I just had the title. So everyday I would walk around, kind of humming this thing in my head.”

The melody of the song came to Grohl without even touching a guitar,so it follows that “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” would come just as naturally to the band: the song was recorded in a single afternoon by Grohl and fellow Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee. “And once we were finished,” Grohl says. “I thought ‘OK now we have an album. This is it and we’re done’… as we were mixing, I realized that we’d actually done what we set out do: to make this gigantic Foo Fighters record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of jazz and melody and arrangement, something that we’d never done before.”

Of course “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” deserved an equally ambitious visual representation, and together with director of photography Brandon Trost and with production by Therapy Studios, director Grohl, Foo Fighters—and family—have more than delivered: “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” is a kaleidoscopic sci-fi mini-epic as massive as the slow burning rock anthem that gave it life. Hypnotic swirls of color of extraterrestrial origin, glowing eyes, levitating children and more combine to create an otherworldly cinematic palette equal parts beautiful and creepy—the result being arguably the most striking video in the Foo Fighters’ multiple award-winning canon.

Simultaneously, Foo Fighters are launching a constellation viewer, enabling every FF fan to transform to their phone into a tool for exploring the sky in their neighborhood: Go to https://sky.foofighters.com/ from your phone to configure a realistic constellation map in the viewer’s 3D sphere, then let it identify the constellations in your night sky—all while tiny Foo Fighters soundtrack your explorations at the bottom of the screen.

“The Sky Is A Neighborhood” is the second song to be unveiled from Concrete and Gold, following the June 1 surprise release of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart-topping, MTV Video Music Award-nominated “Run.” With more than 2 million YouTube views in its first 24 hours, “Run” smashed into the top 5 of the iTunes video chart and the top of the 15 iTunes singles chart—quickly amassing the highest first-day numbers of any single in the Foo Fighters’ career. Both songs were performed during Foo Fighters’ epic 3.5 hour 32-song marathon Lollapalooza aftershow August 4 at Chicago’s Metro club, and are sure to be live staples of the coming Foo Fighters U.S. tour. That tour kicks off October 7 with the band’s Cal Jam 17 festival at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA: a non-stop 100% live 12-hour rock n roll extravaganza featuring Queens Of The Stone Age, Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, The Kills, Royal Blood, Japandroids, Wolf Alice, Bob Mould, The Struts, Bully, Circa Waves, Babes in Toyland, Adia Victoria, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed, Pinky Pinky, Starcrawler, White Reaper… as well as camping, carnival rides, a water park, attractions, a mobile recording studio & so much more. On Friday night, October 6, campers will also experience the world’s best Go-Go band Big Tony & Trouble Funk, an outdoor movie theater and many other surprises.

For further information, go to Caljamfest.com.

Concrete and Gold was written and performed by Foo Fighters, produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, and mixed by Darrell Thorp. The album is available for pre-order at http://smarturl.it/FFCG and will be released September 15 worldwide on Roswell Records / RCA Records.

The track listing is:
1. T-Shirt
2. Run
3. Make It Right
4. The Sky Is A Neighborhood
5. La Dee Da
6. Dirty Water
7. Arrows
8. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)
9. Sunday Rain
10. The Line
11. Concrete and Gold

FOO FIGHTERS
Concrete and Gold U.S. Tour 2017

OCTOBER 7 – San Bernardino, CA – CAL JAM 17 @ Glen Helen Regional Park with Queens of the Stone Age, Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, The Kills, Royal Blood, Japandroids, Wolf Alice, Bob Mould, The Struts, Bully, Circa Waves, Babes in Toyland, Adia Victoria, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed, Pinky Pinky, Starcrawler, White Reaper, Big Tony & Trouble Funk and more

OCTOBER 12 – Washington DC – The Anthem (SOLD OUT)
OCTOBER 14 – Richmond, VA – Richmond Coliseum (SOLD OUT)
OCTOBER 15 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum (SOLD OUT)
OCTOBER 17 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
OCTOBER 18 – Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena
OCTOBER 20 – Cincinnati, OH – U.S. Bank Arena (SOLD OUT)
OCTOBER 21 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
OCTOBER 23 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
OCTOBER 24 – Memphis,TN – FedExForum
OCTOBER 26 – Birmingham, AL – Legacy Arena at The BJCC
OCTOBER 28 – New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
NOVEMBER 7 – Madison, WI – Kohl Center (SOLD OUT)
NOVEMBER 8 – Champaign, IL – State Farm Arena
NOVEMBER 10 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
NOVEMBER 11 – Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford PREMIER Center (SOLD OUT)
NOVEMBER 13 – Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena
NOVEMBER 15 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
DECEMBER 1 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
DECEMBER 2 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center (SOLD OUT)
DECEMBER 4 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
DECEMBER 5 – Eugene, OR – Matthew Knight Arena (SOLD OUT)
DECEMBER 7 – Nampa ID – Ford Idaho Center
DECEMBER 9 – Billings MT – Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
DECEMBER 10 – Casper WY – Casper Events Center
DECEMBER 12 – Salt Lake City UT – Vivint Smart Home Arena

The Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha talks about new solo album “Look To The Sky”

James Iha was the guitarist and co-founder of The Smashing Pumpkins which were probably one of the biggest and most successful alternative acts to come out of the 90’s. After the band disbanded in 2000 James went on to release his first solo record as well as recording/ performing with bands such as Perfect Circle and Tinted Windows. James recently released his second solo album titled “Look To The Sky” and Media Mikes had the chance to ask James a few questions about the release.

Adam Lawton: What was it that interested you in doing a second solo album after a 15 year break?
James Iha: After the smashing pumpkins broke up in 2000 I needed a break from being in a band. I ended up starting a studio and a label. From there I began representing and producing bands. I think around 4 or 5 years ago I started writing and recording for myself.  It took longer than I thought but there was no deadline and no label so I just took my time until I felt it was right.

AL: For you personally what was the biggest difference working on this record compared to your first solo album?
JI: Time and experience. I have learned a lot by working with different artists over the years. The music scene has changed a lot as well so I felt kind of felt free to experiment and do different things. That sort of sums up my last ten years.

AL: Is the material contained on this release material you have worked on over time or is it newly written material?
JI: There are some older songs that were written maybe 4 or 5 years ago. Then there are some like “Waves” and “Summer Days” which were written right before I turned in the record. Everything was all done in the last couple of years

AL:  How does working as a solo artist compare to working with some of your previous groups?
JI: It’s a big difference. It’s great to work on your own without having to consult or ask anyone’s opinion. You just can go in and make music.  The downside of that is without anyone to bounce ideas off or get someone else’s parts it can be tough but that’s what a solo artist is compared to being in a band

AL:  Do you have any plans to tour in support of the album?
JI: We have been touring across the US and have also made our way over to both Europe and Japan. We hope to be able to do more in 2013!

Blu-ray Review “Iron Sky”

Starring: Julia Dietze, Peta Sergeant, Götz Otto, Udo Kier, Christopher Kirby, Kym Jackson
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Entertainment One
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Iron Sky” had me locked in from the minute I read its premise.  I mean, Nazi’s on the dark side of the moon, how can you go wrong? Well this film doesn’t really deliver much in the laughs department…but it definitely makes it up in the visual effects department. There is some really top-notch CG work here, it reminded me a bit of this year’s “Lockout” as well. The film has Udo Kier playing the Führer but does not use him to his potential and let’s just say he doesn’t stick around that long. Nonetheless, I honestly think that this film is worth checking out JUST for the visual effects.  The word is that there is going to be a prequel and sequel for this as well, so this story isn’t done yet.

Official Premise: In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. In the intervening 70 years, the Nazis constructed a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. Their plan: travel back to Earth and re-colonize the planet. Now, mankind’s greatest enemy is no longer history as the Reich strikes back in this eagerly-anticipated worldwide box office phenomenon which has enjoyed a U.S. theatrical release – demanded in over 70 markets. When American astronaut James Washington (Christopher Kirby) puts down his Lunar Lander a bit too close to the secret Nazi base, the Moon Führer (Udo Kier) decides the Fourth Reich must act, so two Nazi officers, ruthless Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and idealistic Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), travel to Earth to prepare the invasion. In the end, when the Moon Nazi UFO armada darkens the skies, ready to strike at the unprepared Earth, every man, woman and nation alike, must unite to save humanity!

“Iron Sky” looks awesome on Blu-ray. It’s 1080p transfer looks amazing in its 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Since the film is jam-packed with action, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track really delivers. The special features are not as impressive though, but still decent. There is an audio commentary track with Producer Samuli Torssonen and Director Timo Vuorensola. There is a lot of focus on the visual aesthetics. “Making of Featurette” focuses on the production and runs just over 15 minutes. There is another look Behind the Scenes which focuses on various featurettes focusing on the film. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer and teasers included.

 

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DVD Review “Sky Commanders: The Complete Animated Series”

Created by: Hanna-Barbera
Director: Don Lusk
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 273 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s watching daily afternoon cartoons, I always enjoyed shows like “G.I. Joe”, “Thundercats” and of course “Sky Commanders”. This show was short but definitely left an impact on animated cartoons. It is not one of Hanna-Barbera’s best works but if you are looking for a trip back to the late 80’s, this is a great choice. “Sky Commanders” follows Commander Mike Summit as he leads a ragtag team of mountaineers against the forces of General Plague for control of a mysterious new continent and, of course, the world. The complete series is spread out over 2-discs and lasts only a short 13-episodes.

Unlike most Warner Archive releases, this series has not been remastered or restored for this DVD. The colors and animation still look decent but could have used a little extra love. It has though been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available. The episodes are presented in 4×3 full frame and within its original aspect ration of 1.37:1. The audio includes a mono track like all Warner Archive releases and it works well with the series for sure. Nonetheless, this release should be very much welcomed as it is the first time that “Sky Commanders”, as a complete series, is hitting DVD.

Synopsis: Deep in the South Pacific, a tumultuous and untamed new continent has erupted, spawned by a highly unstable new element, known as Phaeta-7. If this powerful new element could be controlled, whoever possessed it would be the undisputed ruler of the world! One man, General Lucas Plague, is determined to hold that title. And it’s up to a rugged team of mountaineering experts, led by Commander Mike Summit, to stop him. Employing revolutionary new gravity-lock and laser-cable technology to traverse the ever-changing terrain of the High Frontier, Mike Summit’s Sky Commanders, and General Plague’s Raiders, are locked in mortal combat, with the fate of the entire world hanging in the balance! That narration heralded the arrival of a Sci-Fi show that truly boasted sky high action, depicting the battles of a group of hi-tech climbers against a terror militia for control of the planet in this complete 2-Disc, 13-Episode Collection.

CD Review: Shadows Fall “Fire From the Sky”

Shadows Fall
“Fire From the Sky”
Razor & Tie
Producer: Adam Dutkiewicz
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Fire From the Sky” is the 7th release from Massachusetts metalers Shadows Falls. The album is the follow up to the bands 2009 release titled “Retribution”. “Fire From the Sky” is being released via Razor & Tie and features 10 new tracks that were produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz.

Having followed Shadows Falls since the late 90’s it was great to hear that the band would be putting out a new album as the bands last release was in 2009. It goes without saying that I was quite anxious to dive in to the new material. The songs feature some really great playing and a heightened intensity however I really couldn’t find anything else that really grabbed me. In my opinion the song structures were very similar to those hear on the bands last 3. Producer Adam D. did a great job getting the most out of the songs and the albums intensity proves that. I really felt that a majority of the riffs on this album were a bit stock. There were a few tracks that did rise above the other on the album. “Divide and Conquer” was just a sheer metal track while the album’s title track “Fire From the Sky” had a brutal slugging feel to it which made you want bang your head and pump your fist

Long time Shadows Fall fans expecting something new and fresh with this release may not find what they are looking for. However if you can appreciate the album solely based on intensity and skill then you will surely want to pick up a copy of this album.

Track Listing:
1.) The Unknown
2.) Divide and Conquer
3.) Weight of the World
4.) Nothing Remains
5.) Fire From the Sky
6.) Save Your Soul
7.) Blind Faith
8.) Lost Within
9.) Walk the Edge
10.) The Wasteland