Category Archives: Features

Parent category for all our assorted feature narratives. Each is filed under its proper theme.

My Dinner (or Lunch) with Finland’s Sonata Arctica

This week was an interesting one and had I taken the initiative to generate this thing earlier the information would have flowed a little more in order of occurence. This fact troubles me as the Technical Guy, since I am a fan of both order and detail. That which confuses, ruins the flow of information or makes things come off as nonsense and with Music Adventuring there is plenty of nonsense to come naturally without me offering any extra. Be that as it may, I digress from my original point.

Food & Metal Uniting As One
My week started off with a really cool opportunity to enjoy lunch with members of the Finnish Metal sensation Sonata Arctica, who were in town for a CD Listening that was open to the general public. Lead singer Tony Kakko and keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg would be present to spin this CD for the fans and mingle among them answering questions and posing for the ever-necessary MySpace photos. Earlier in the day the guys and their rep from Nuclear Blast Records would head down to New York City’s Chinatown and hit one of my very favorite restaurants “Nha Trang”. The selection of this place came as a pleasant surprise to me, for I had recommended it to the label rep when Hammerfall was in town for a similar listening event but there was just insufficient time to do it. Luckily, they would keep the card for future reference and bring it on the next adventure into the City. Nha Trang is a Vietnamese restaurant, and there are so many delicious things in the place that I would be writing for days just explaining them. It’s been there for a number of years, and I only first heard about them when my friend Peter Pardo (Publisher of www.seaoftranquility.org) suggested I join him before we hit a show. Been a fan ever since, so back to “The Metal Lunch”.

Welcome to PiercingMetal Musings; The Official Blog of PiercingMetal.com

While I’ve been meaning to start this blog thing up for some time, therein lies the problem – the time to get it done properly and keep it interesting. I’m convinced that working a 9-5 job all day and then choosing to do the “Metal Media Guy” thing in the evening is not only going to cost me my sleep but also my sanity. Oh well, I guess we shall see what happens going forward. My plan for this blog is to outline some of the other thoughts that I come up with based on or around the Heavy Metal reviews website that I have had for a couple of years now, and the adventures that I sometimes have in running it. Let’s face it, not everything that happens in my day as a writer and photographer fall into the context of conventional review. If it works and interests some who have never heard of PiercingMetal.com before then fantastic, and on the other hand if it becomes merely a place to rant and vent about weird stuff that happens then I guess that is acceptable as well. I can’t focus too much on senseless worry as it clogs the creative process. I will do my best to get down to the business of living life as a music scribe, enjoying it, and delivering stories that I found interesting enough to tell. Perhaps I will add some topics that relate to the comic book medium or films since I am very interested in those but only the geek stuff. It might be a good idea to lead you to certain review content on the main website like the shows and since you cannot comment on those posts based on the hard coded HTML, the blog is the perfect place for you to lend me your thoughts. It’s going to be a constant work in progress I am thinking.

Blogging is something totally new to me as a creative resource but it sure seems to be getting popular as a way to do things. Some writers are hating it since they feel its unprofessional while others are embracing it. I am willing to give it a whirl in the hope that it directs more and more people to the existence of the core website. By the way, we are using WordPress as our medium now and for those who first found the blog under the Blogger angle, that was imported and appended to work in WordPress. The original Blogger account was deleted in full so should not cause any confusion and now all of the web traffic belongs to this domain. That’s never a bad thing. Enjoy the ride and please by all means leave us comments about what you love or hate the most.

UPDATE 8/1/2014: Since this post was originally presented to readers back in 2007, PiercingMetal.com has absorbed the sum total contents of the side blog presence making it all one big presentation and the explanation can be found on THIS LINK. We thank you for your interests in this blog for so many years and the same ideas once there exclusively will now be under one PiercingMetal roof.

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Videos and Concerts

As I’ve already noted, it was a very exciting year in the Metal music world and as we draw to the close of 2006 its time to continue with what we felt was the “Best” of the year. In a previous post, I lined out all of the albums that I felt were the most awesome and now its time to line out the videos and concerts that were the same. I’ve also mentioned a few of the letdowns.

The Best Videos Of 2006:

Arch Enemy “Live Apocalypse” (Century Media Records): Do you love Angela Gossow? If not, I don’t want to be the one to tell one of the most imposing of female singers today. This is a band that has done serious damage since her arrival and shows no signs of stopping.

KISS “KISSology” (VH1 Classic) : You wanted the best and you got the best the hottest band in the world KISS!!!!! Disagree with me? Shut up and get out of my way or wise up and enjoy this incredible archive of video footage from a band that started more trends than you can count..

Rush “Replay X3” (Universal): 3 classic Rush out of print VHS films in a neato little package with mini-tourbooks, oh snap this was wonderful to see released.

Children Of Bodom “Stockholm Knockout Live” (Spinefarm Records): Are you doubtful that COB is one of the more exciting bands of today, then buy this DVD and come talk to me again.

Therion “Celebrators Of Becoming” (Nuclear Blast Records): Behind on your Therion, well this comprehensive and extensive boxed set will surely win you over and get you up to speed.

Stream Of Passion “Live In The Real World” (InsideOut Music): Arjen Lucassens project with the beautiful Marcela Bovio will take you to new musical realms. There was a companion CD released for this as well.

Whitesnake “Live in the Still of the Night” (Universal Music): Here they go again on their own, and guess what it all still kicks some serious bootie.

Sonata Arctica “For The Sake Of Revenge” (Nuclear Blast Records): One of the best live bands for Metal today. They hold the banner high for the genre.

Black Label Society “The European Invasion” (Eagle Vision): Doom Troopin’ Live: so much better on this DVD than the last one. A tight set of crunching Hard Rock and Metal.

Kamelot “One Cold Winters Night” (SPV Records): This is a concert film that will make you a fan for life. Dramatic, energetic, and passionate. Melodic Power Metal at its best.
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Videos and Concerts

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Music

Another exciting year in Metal music has gone by and as a member of the music press, I’m tasked with not only doing reviews here on the website but also in lining out what releases that I felt were the years very best. Initially, this post was going to feature the whole gamut of the years in terms of the music, the videos and the concerts but when my album list went on and on and on I decided to give it a post of its own to go easier on you. Let’s go.

The Best Albums Of 2006

Mercenary “The Hours That Remain” (Century Media Records): A great follow up to “11 Dreams”, this band shows that they are taking chances in Metal.

Mastodon “Blood Mountain” (Warner Brothers): Jazz Fusion Metal? I dunno, but the new Mastodon sure kicks your ass around the block.

Amorphis “Eclipse” (Nuclear Blast Records): Finnish boys return and do more good. Lots of feels on this one.

Scar Symmetry “Pitch Black Effects” (Nuclear Blast Records): Raging guitar solos, soaring clean vocals, brutal death metal growls-brilliant!

Lamb of God “Sacrament” (Epic Records): Their best yet. Future legends. The first four songs are instant classics and if you don’t find your fist in the air for this release you don’t have one. Go watch American Idol

Iron Maiden “A Matter of Life and Death” (EMI Music): Up the Irons, pure and simple. Some bad press from some people who don’t see the return to form. They are idiots.

I “Between Two Worlds” (Nuclear Blast Records): Great project from members of Immortal, Enslaved, and Gorgoroth.

Enslaved “RUUN” (Candlelight Records): The Black Metal titans get even more progressive and this is an incredible listen from start to finish

Satyricon “Now, Diabolical” (Century Media Records): More Metal needs to be like this. A resounding effort that lays waste to that which tries to come close.

Vanden Plas “Christ O” (InsideOut Music): Stunning operatic progressive metal. Their best yet! Especially the bonus track
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Music

PiercingMetal’s Editorial For 2006

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PiercingMetal.com’s Editorial 2006: The Year in “Reviews”

I clearly remember thinking that when 2005 was drawing to a close that it was going to be a hard year to beat in terms of Metal music as a genre on the whole. I said to friends that 2006 surely had its work cut out for it. On a more personal level, 2005 was special as well for we had just jumped into the fray a little deeper with the launch of PiercingMetal.com. It was a mid-year debut and while we felt it might go over well in time, we were not really expecting the resounding public response to the manner in which we present things. Metal websites are everywhere and for the most part “review” is essentially just someone’s “opinion” and not the “law” or “final word”; the great response to how we see the overall picture is something we appreciate and hope to continue to foster as time marches on. Heavy Metal music made some significant leaps in 2006 and pretty much made 2005 look like a shy effort. We broke down the happenings into several sections to make better sense of it and to present some thoughts on several of the more notable occurrences. Please read on.
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s Editorial For 2006