All posts by Ken Pierce

Ken Pierce is an NYC based Music Journalist and the Editor In Chief of PiercingMetal.com; He's been documenting the live Metal and Rock scene of the Big Apple since 2003 and believes that there is always something exciting happening in this Metropolis.

“Means To An End” by Biohazard

Artist: Biohazard
Title: “Means To And End”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 8/30/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

To me Biohazard are best referenced as local guys who made it to the top because of hard work and being steadfast to their music. They had a vision and were able to follow it to a certain degree of success. I remember early gigs in their career at the famous L’Amour in Brooklyn and how it felt when this highly energetic and powerful live band first secured their record deal. The band was always in the mix of things and was crossing over in the genres like Metal and Hard Core before such things became more commonplace. One could always see them at gigs mingling as well and never was that “Rock Star” mentality at play. Looking back on this it’s about 16 or so years, and the non-believers can halt in awe to the longevity and tenacity of this band. The release of “Means To An End” on SPV Records shows that in true Biohazard fashion they continue along the path that they helped to forge so many years. This crossing over with an element of street credibility was the overall appeal to the fans that followed Biohazard. Evan Seinfeld is a powerful front man who shared the duties up front very well with Billy Graziadei (guitars) very well.
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“Headhunter” by Krokus

Artist: Krokus
Title: “Headhunter”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 10/17/2000
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

Spitfire Records became one of my favorite of the independent record labels when they started to remaster and reissue some classic Heavy Metal albums. Before this was done most of them were only available on vinyl and hardly ever made it to CD. Younger readers might not recall those big black disks in the cardboard but any Traditional or “Old School” genre fans most certainly do. One of these releases was the 1986 classic by Krokus entitled “Headhunter”. This was one of my top ten records at the time and there are a number of reasons why. This was a powerhouse of Heavy Metal rock and roll and should be a part of any collection should you seek a sampling of Krokus. This release contains some of their signature material and a number of these tunes are still performed in concert today. I remember when I first heard “Headhunter” begin; the solid drumming of Steve Pace not only floored me but made me realize that I had to add a second kick drum to my drum set. On some releases Krokus had a lot of AC/DC flavor to them and this is most likely due to some of the similarities in Marc Storace’s voice. However, Marc also possessed a greater range and this was evident on classics like “Screaming In The Night”. This was a power ballad done right and soon would be a tune that many bands would mirror their own against.
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“Hell On Earth” Vol. 1 by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “Hell On Earth: Volume I”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 5/24/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 6/10

The Kings Of Metal – The One and Only Manowar have begun a series of DVD releases that include both live concert footage and a great amount of backstage and interview footage. Those that have ever witnessed Manowar on the concert stage can attest to the larger than life nature of this legendary band. This DVD proves to the world that the activity behind the scenes is just as large if not wilder. While I enjoyed this single DVD piece to some degree I have to speak on some of the issues I found with it. First off, you are not able to single out the concert performances from the speaking sections and bantering. This might prove to be annoying to those that simply want to watch the live concert and bypass the talk. Everything as a result is mixed together and should you want to see any particular section you need to return to the main menu and choose it from the list. Another problem I caught was a little segment during one of the live concerts. It was some risky footage with scantily or non-clothed women. Of course Metal and Sex are often in the same sentence, but younger fans Parents might not appreciate the lack of warning on this segment. It was on the intense side, and honestly not for young viewers. Older fans will love it I am quite certain.
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“Il Demonio Nera” by Danzig

Artist: Danzig
Title: “Il Demonio Nera”
Label: Musicrama Inc.
Release Date: 7/26/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.5/10

Danzig is one of the great Metal legends without any question. The efforts in Misfits and Samhain all leading up to the brand of brooding and ominous Metal he would deliver on his own. This DVD features a number of unreleased and rarity videos from his career, primarily from the release “Danzig 4”. As this is the second release of such videos there will not be much in the way of older material for the casual fan; they would need to look into “Danzig – Archive De La Mort” for that. Given this being the case I found myself watching the video and being left wanting. Of the 12 featured tracks only 8 are unique and have different versions for you to watch. It’s cool if you are a Danzig diehard, but if you are someone who merely wants to enjoy a bunch of his Metal videos this will most likely leave you the same way.
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“Ogre Tones” by King’s X

Artist: King’s X
Title: “Ogre Tones”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date:
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

The new King’s X release “Ogre Tones” comes to us courtesy of the InsideOut Music label. Prior to this the band was associated with Metal Blade Records and while I am not sure of the reason behind the change it is nice to see the group go to another quality label. I feel that the music of Kings X is a little better suited to a label like InsideOut now, since most of the Metal Blade artist roster has become very heavy stuff. It might have had them lost in the shuffle accidentally. On “Ogre Tones” the band gives us a great piece of music with lots of bluesy riffs and harmony vocals. The trio has always had their roots in these musical principles but on the new CD is more apparent than on the last studio effort. They are a welcome addition to the new label with this type of music I am certain. Doug Pinnick still has the soulful voice that he is best known for; soft and subtle at time, and at others reaching a crescendo. Ty Tabors guitar work is very nice and clean on the release while Jerry Gaskills drumming is as solid as it ever was. The great factor in a band like King’s X was their ability to all sing in such great harmony with each other. From the opening track of “Alone”, “Hurricane” and “Fly” you can tell that the group has not lost an ounce of their vocal prowess and sound better than ever.
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