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.

Amorphis @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/20/2005)

Logo - Amorphis

Artist: Amorphis
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club – NYC
Opener: Into Eternity, Beyond The Embrace
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Date: 3-20-2005

Finnish legends Amorphis returned to New York City for one show to support their latest release entitled “Far From The Sun”. This release on Nuclear Blast Records finds the band with a new lead singer and an entirely different approach to their brand of metal. When one looks at band tour schedules, you will see that B.B. King Blues Club seems to be getting every single metal act that is on the road. It’s pretty interesting touring nowadays. I think I have been to this venue over a dozen times to cover shows and it does not seem to have a slow down yet. Always a good thing to have one venue at least you can trust to bring you the latest and greatest in Heavy Metal performances.
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“Positive Rage” by Eternal Flight

Artist: Eternal Flight
Title: “Positive Rage”
Label: Cruz Del Sure Music
Release Date: 10/24/2004
Style: Progressive Metal
Rating: 7/10

The second that I placed this CD in the changer I was reminded of the first Dream Theater album “When Dream And Day Unite”. Since I really enjoyed that piece of “forgotten metal (as not many Dream Theater fans choose to recognize it), I knew this would not be a bad listen. The band comes to us out of France, and I was surprised for the Country is not known for power or progressive metal as much as Finland or Sweden are. There are some very good hooks on this CD, and the fans of the genre will be happy that nothing is lost in the area of technical ability. Everyone in the group plays their instruments very well, and the singer has a truly passionate voice that is very similar to a younger Geoff Tate. Never a bad comparison.
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Ozric Tentacles @ Bowery Ballroom (3/19/2005)

Logo - Ozric Tentacles

Artist: Ozric Tentacles
Venue: Bowery Ballroom – NYC
Opener: Lotus
Date: 3-19-2005
Label: Magna Carta Records

The Ozric Tentacles made a return to New York to play the comfortable venue called “Bowery Ballroom”, I was in attendance for this display of pure psychedelic rock and here are a few thoughts on it. For those that have never been to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, you might enjoy the place for not only is there a good PA system but the setting for the venue is quite nice. Downstairs is the bar and lounge while upstairs (on ground level) is where the stage is. There is also an upstairs balcony where VIP and special guests might mingle. The room seems to hold about 500 people which is great for getting a closer vantage point to the Artist you are there to see. It holds true to the intimate gig.
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“Still Hungry” by Twisted Sister

Artist: Twisted Sister
Title: “Still Hungry”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 10/19/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

As a long time Twisted Sister fan I had very high hopes when I heard that a re-issue of the classic “Stay Hungry” album would be hitting the stands. However, it soon became official word that instead of this edition the CD would be re-recording of every single track from the classic we all know and love. Vocalist Dee Snider explained that this was done to capture the “original vision” of the band and this release. I had some reservations with this for it made me think of when George Lucas added all the footage to Star Wars some 20 years later and told us that this is the way he had meant for us to see it when it was originally released. The criticism that Dee Snider seemed to have was that the album did not receive the proper production level. Honestly I thought it sounded fine. It was heavy, and it was enjoyable to see a heavy record receive some acclaim on radio stations of the time. Whether you loved them or hates them, you could ignore the catchy riffs and vocal lines of those songs. This release is entitled “Still Hungry” and it begins as you expect with the thundering opener. However, once the CD begins you can immediately notice a difference. The clearest fact is the feeling that it is not produced enough and come off more as rough mixes rather than finished and edited songs. I felt I was listening to rough demos of some of my favorite songs rather than a new and more exciting view of them. I have to admit that I expected a lot more from this portion of the CD, as with todays technology and the fact that the players are ever more seasoned it gave me that expectation. I enjoyed it enough, but not feeling that these should have been tampered with.
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“Christmas Eve & Other Stories” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “Christmas Eve & Other Stories”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 10/15/1996
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 9/10

Let’s get this clear from the beginning. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes from Savatage and oddly enough there are still some people who are not aware of this as the origin point of the group. The signature piece of this Metal Ensemble entitled “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” first appeared on the Savatage CD “Dead Winter Dead”. The tune stood out on the CD back then and also received a large amount of airplay on stations that would never play the music of Savatage in the first place. The music of 1996 was very steeped in the “alternative” movement and hard rock music was seldom heard and looked to die a quiet death. Clearly this track would prove another road could be taken with heavy music.
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