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.

Steve Vai @ Town Hall (3/5/2005)

Logo - Steve Vai

Artist: Steve Vai
Venue: Town Hall – NYC
Opener: Eric Sardinas
Date: 3-26-2005
Label: Epic Records

There is no question or argument about Steve Vai being considered perhaps the most prolific of Progressive Rock guitarists in music today. This weekend Mister Vai returned to New York City for two sold-out shows at The Town Hall an intimate theater setting where there was not a bad seat in the house no matter where you located. Steve would be featuring a number of selections from his latest release entitled “Real Illusions: Reflections”, and if you ask me this is his most Zappa inspired piece of music yet. So much of it reminded me of his early time with Frank and that is great to see Steve returning to an even more adventurous musical level after so many years in the business.
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“Buried In Oblivion” by Into Eternity

Artist: Into Eternity
Title: “Buried In Oblivion”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 8/10

If one were to take the technical skills found in music such as Dream Theater and combine them with the type of harmonies typically found in Yes you would get a very interesting band. Now when you take these principles and not only speed them up but include a skillfully placed use of death vocals you have the Canadian band “Into Eternity”. Their CD “Buried In Oblivion” is a non-stop ride of Progressive Metal power from start to finish. I was very impressed with the technical ability of these musicians across the length of the CD and I am happy to report that this is the same level of play one sees in a live performance. In addition to this skill each of the band members sing backup and also provide the dark vocal lines. This tends to make this both a powerful and yet moody piece of music. As I mentioned, the musicianship is very technically based both in guitar riffing and drumming. They work well together and showcase the influences of Progressive forerunners on their playing. The themes covered in the music are not at all based in the brighter side of life; instead they focus more on despair and oblivion. It is effective for the bands musical thoughts as they come to life on the CD.
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“Chaoswave” by Chaoswave

Artist: Chaoswave
Title: “Self-Titled”
Label: unsigned
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Progressive Dark
Rating: 7.5

Coming to you straight out of Italy is a kick-ass band called Chaoswave. This group delivers some solid metal to you in the styles of Nevermore and Lacuna Coil. There is a high amount of technical expertise showcased on the production and they made sure that this demo sounds as good as a label release would. While I use Lacuna Coil in reference, the similarity ends with the fact that there are two people singing lead, and one is male while the other female. Giorgia Fadda and Fabio Carta use their styles vocally to stray from the Gothic and lean more towards that of power metal.
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Slayer @ Roseland Ballroom (11/11/2004)

Logo - Slayer

Artist: Slayer
Venue: Roseland Ballroom NYC
Opener: Killswitch Engage & Mastodon
Date: 11/11/04
Label: American Recordings
Genre: Thrash Metal

The Jaegermeister Music Tour has definitely become one of the most anticipated events in Heavy Metal music these days and primarily because it features the mighty Slayer as the headlining band (or at least it has for a couple of years now). It is an example of metal at its most primal intensity and can become brutal beyond description. This year it would be no different for Slayer would return as the Headliner with Killswitch Engage and Mastodon would kick of the mayhem for the evening. I cannot think of a better venue for this sort of concert than Roseland Ballroom. The entire front stage area becomes a pit when Slayer comes on and if you are not into that sort of thing you really need to run for the hills as it can get crazy.
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Dream Theater @ The Theater at Madison Square Garden (4/3/2004)

Logo - Dream Theater

Artist: Dream Theater
Venue: The Theatre at Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 4/3/2004
Label: Atlantic Records

Given that I first heard of this band when they were a new signing on Mechanix Records back in 1989 I essentially consider myself among their earliest supporters. Though I have enjoyed their music for so long they were one of those bands that I just never got to see. Tonight, at “The Theatre” (which is beneath Madison Square Garden, and is the former Felt Forum) I had the chance to rectify this issue. This is the perfect setting for this band as not only is the room acoustically sound – but you can see the performers very easily from almost any vantage point. However for this particular show there was not a lot of sitting going on for many fans decided to stand for the entire show. As a result the tall folks in immediate front of me prevented me from actually seeing a lot of the show. Without being disparaging I must declare that there are not a lot of antics onstage that merit your consistent attention at a Dream Theatre performance. You are there to absorb and enjoy their skilled musicianship and standing thru the entire set is only bound to annoy someone behind you.
Continue reading Dream Theater @ The Theater at Madison Square Garden (4/3/2004)