Tag Archives: johnny lee middleton

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Debut “Christmas Eve & Other Stories”; A Modern Classic At 20 Years

I can hardly believe that I am writing this but I am got for today marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was the group’s first album and it blew me away from the very first listen and I can proudly say that I have been listening to this recording since it was released. My introduction to them is on the amusing side because I had been a longtime fan of the band Savatage and was keeping up with their releases as they appeared at the record shop and found the sounds on the album “Dead Winter Dead” to be something very, very different. In my mind the band always pushed the creative envelope and were more than a typical Heavy Metal band but with this body of work there was a grandiose nature to it and even a sense of cinematic or Broadway drama. This was of course due to the creative genius of Paul O’Neill and Jon Oliva who wrote and composed this one from beginning to end. When that album reached the track of “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” I was floored. Yeah I had listened to Heavy Metal Christmas tracks when I heard them but they were few and far between at the time. Stryper had a good one but most of the rest were just Rock artists. This was new and quite different to my aural senses.
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“Return To Wacken” by Savatage

Artist: Savatage
Title: “Return To Wacken”
Label: Ear Music
Release Date: 6/30/2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

It’s been far too long since the Metal world has had new music from the great Savatage and their last recorded work together was on “Poets and Madmen” which hit us hard back in 2001 care of Nuclear Blast Records. Since that time, Savatage has been on a bit of a lengthy hiatus while numerous members focused their creative energies on the holiday touring juggernaut known as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra while others continued on into projects of their own. Now in celebration of the bands return to the live stage for the Wacken Open Air Festival, a rather sound compilation of some of the bands classics has been issued and for the foreseeable future this is as close to “new” as we shall get from the legendary band. My notes on the release come from my relatively long association with their material (since 1988 if memory serves me correctly) and a deep knowledge of their back catalog. I didn’t have a copy of my own and was listening to a digital stream of it online. As a collection, this serves up well as a grouping of very necessary tracks for the listeners who might not be all that up on the bands historic game. Let’s consider this to be “Savatage Primer” since its all expected numbers as opposed to any sort of deep tracks. Perhaps if this was a double CD edition but alas this is only a single disc.
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New Year’s Music Resolutions For 2013: Part 8

We are off and running my dear readers in The Metal Republic and while it’s only day two of 2013, this is actually part eight of our “New Year’s Music Resolutions for 2013” from Metal and Hard Rock greats. Someone asked me why I actually started this just after Christmas, and well the answer is simple….I started them on 12/26 because I wanted to is why 🙂 Being serious, I do it like this to give you readers something new and interesting as the year closes since its generally a dry time for big happenings. It also lets me better space out the responding quotes. Now onto the regularly scheduled program….

1. Mo “Royce” Petersen (Tragedy: Heavy Metal Tribute To The Bee Gees): We resolve to look like Manowar by the end of 2013. (We already sound exactly like them)

2. Addiction For Destruction: Addiction For Destruction are looking forward to on tour over the world in 2013 and releasing a couple of new videos! We want to keep building our international fan base. Train keeps rollin’, stay tuned!

3. Steph Paynes (Lez Zeppelin): That Lez Zeppelin will be invited to play the Isle of Wight Festival, followed by a UK Tour, during which many magickal things will happen…
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PiercingMetal Spotlights: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

For those who have been living under a rock, let me inform you about the juggernaut of musical enterprise that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – it is a power packed ensemble that first came into the public eye with the “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” CD and since that time has performed for record numbers of wide-eyed fans. Primarily a holiday themed group, the original premise of the TSO came from producer Paul O’Neill who was instrumental in a number of Savatage releases in terms of the musical direction that the group took. As a matter of fact the bands signature number “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” was originally presented on that bands “Dead Winter Dead” CD. The rest is as they say history. We’ve covered every release from the band and have seen them perform a number of times. To enjoy our articles on the various Trans-Siberian Orchestra adventures just click their logo below to launch the query.

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Since the original time that I had this group in my no longer used “Artist Of The Month” section on PiercingMetal.com, a number of changes have happened with the lineup but the music and show grows bigger and better each and every year. I start getting goosebumps in anticipation of it happening around October when the tickets usually go on sale. Once you see it for yourself you will understand why.

Official Website: www.trans-siberian.com

Be sure to check out this amazing group by investigating their catalog via one of these Amazon.com links.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center (12/12/2009)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Izod Center (East Rutherford, NJ)
Opener: n/a
Date: 12/12/2009
Label: Lava Records

As I walked into the Izod Center for this years Trans-Siberian Orchestra show, I had to say that I felt that the time had flown by quickly from when I was doing it the last time around. I also mused to myself how this was actually going to be my tenth year supporting the group having seen them every year since 2000. That was their second tour and I had only missed the first go round of it because it came and went faster than anyone could have imagined. As a music journalist, this evening’s appearance would be my seventh show which would be documented for the masses at large and while I greatly enjoy what they do, the schedule that I keep does not permit me to be one of those fans that hit a number of shows each season. Instead of following the band around to different cities as some are apt to do, I find myself satisfied with the one show every year and this has been a tradition of mine since 2002 when I felt that this should be one of my yearly agenda items. In 2009 the TSO as they are lovingly referred to by their fans have become a massive undertaking with two separate companies hitting the cities across the nation and now a full five albums under their belt. Five you say? Well, yes I do because we found the group releasing their long awaited second non-Holiday CD “Nightcastle” only a few weeks ago. That was sure to offer up some difference to the fans tonight and here are some highlights of the performance if you somehow managed to miss out.
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