After a six year hiatus, Tenacious D is coming back with a vengeance. Their third album, Rize of the Fenix, is due out May 15, 2012. They will kick off a support tour in Santa Barbara, CA on May 23, with further dates currently scheduled across the U.S. and Europe. The complete tour itinerary is available on the Tenacious D official website. This is all shaping up to be a monstrous comeback for the D, who took some hard knocks following the underwhelming box office performance of their 2006 movie The Pick of Destiny.
The title track from Rize of the Fenix is available to listen to on their site, and it’s an instant D classic. Much like earlier epics such as “City Hall” and “Kickapoo,” “Rize of the Fenix” is a multi-part mini-rock opera. Lead vocalist Jack Black has not lost his touch, belting out hilarious lyrics with utter conviction and sincerity. The acoustic guitar and harmony vocals of Kyle Gass are as essential as ever. They don’t shy away from the failure of their cinematic venture. In fact, they tackle it head-on with the song’s opening lines, “When The Pick of Destiny was released, it was a bomb/And all the critics said that the D was done.” By the end of the song, backed by soaring power chords and the driving drums of Dave Grohl (who has drummed on all three of the D’s albums), it’s clear that they are back and as strong as ever.
The new video, To Be the Best, fills us in on what has occupied the band members during their prolonged absence. Black, riding high on his Hollywood success, holds a press conference simply to declare himself “the happiest and most fulfilled human who ever lived.” Meanwhile, a deranged Gass, distraught over media reports that Tenacious D is over, pursues Black in an attempt to either reunite the band or truly end things on a more permanent level. With funny cameos by Val Kilmer, Josh Groban, and Dave Grohl, this six minute short film is a must-see for fans.
Rize of the Fenix, currently available for pre-order, is very likely to continue Tenacious D’s reign as gods of rock. Their legion of fans is surely anticipating May 15th with bated breath to confirm this suspicion. Check the band’s website for tour dates and more information.