All posts by Ken Pierce

Ken Pierce is an NYC based Music Journalist and the Editor In Chief of; 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.

“Baptizm Of Fire” by Glenn Tipton

Artist: Glenn Tipton
Title: “Baptizm Of Fire”
Label: Rhino Records
Release Date: 3/7/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

When Glenn Tipton first recorded and released his solo album “Baptizm Of Fire” Judas Priest was not as active and I think as a result the support given his efforts were on the dismal side. Now courtesy of Rhino Records we are able to treat the album with a little more respect as it finds Glenn with a rejuvenated Priest and new Metal from the Gods of the genre. The time was right to not only re-issue the debut with some bonus tracks but also to release for the first time the album that was supposed to be out first. The record featured legends Cozy Powell and John Entwistle and is reviewed elsewhere on these pages. On “Baptizm” Glenn gave us a solid collection of Hard Rock which was not exactly Judas Priest like but can appeal to his fans in the band just the same. The veteran axe slinger is very adept and some of the tunes on this record rock. The music is heavy yet not really Metal which in the end shows a little more diversity to his talents. The instrumental title track is perhaps the best of the songs, and “Enter The Storm” with its strong and slow power was a repeat number in my changer. Glenn also does a decent version of The Rolling Stone classic “Paint It Black”, but if you ask me the best cover ever done was by W.A.S.P.
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“Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge” by Molly Hatchet

Artist: Molly Hatchet
Title: “Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 5/24/2005
Genre: Southern Rock
Rating: 7/10

Holding on strong to their roots the legendary Molly Hatchet returns with “Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge”. The signature sound is still there from top to bottom and will surely impress the fans with its loyalty. However, the more impressive part is that it is almost an entirely different line up from the original band and has been the case for over ten years. Original lead singer Danny Jo Brown passed away last year but seems to be channeled through Phil McCormack who is literally a vocal clone of the original. I mean this as a compliment as half of the band appeal became the unique vocal style and to find a suitable replacement that sounded different could have caused the band some problem. Guitarist Bobby Ingram had a hand in the naming of the record as the whole recording is dedicated to his wife Stephanie who passed away suddenly in 2004 while he was on tour. Using the Norse mythological Rainbow Bridge gives way to the thought that the departed are still with us and waiting for our arrival on the other side of the bridge. Musically this album has a lot of appeal for the bands longtime fan base and can be a hit with some new ones. Not one ounce of the Southern Rock appeal is lost in the piece and there is some solid Rocking for as fans of the genre can attest Molly Hatchet always leaned a little to the Hard Rock side. Songs like “Son Of The South” is a surefire hit with catchy lyrics like “sweet potato pie and hush my mouth”.
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“Free Fall Into Fear” by Trail Of Tears

Artist: Trail Of Tears
Title: “Free Fall Into Fear”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 4/26/2005
Genre: Gothic/Black Metal
Rating: 8/10

I did not know what to make of Trail Of Tears when I first began the CD but I did realize very quickly that the group was onto something with this release. A dark mixture of Black and Gothic Metal with a number of vocal styles across the album make this an interesting musical journey. When you add to this some thundering drums and mood laden keyboards you have a band that can interest fans of multiple genres. Before this album, the band had singer Catherine Paulsen bringing a female vocal to the group but she has now been replaced by Green Carnations Kjetil Nordhus. This is a great band for Kjetil to be a part of and since Green Carnation is such a unique animal as well I find his contributions to TOT all the more compelling. Now with two male vocals (the other being handled by Ronny Thorsen) a wider variety of drama is able to be presented to the listener. There was so much of a mix happening here with some slower “more Gothic” parts and then suddenly you are swept away in a pounding Black Metal riff that shows more sophistication than the genre is often afforded. I admit I found this album incredibly powerful and can see it making a dent in the fan base of bands that have both an Atmospheric and Extreme sense to their music. Fans of bands like Samael and Tristania might enjoy this especially when they hear songs like “Frail Expectations” which begins with not only harpsichord but also blast drumming. Clearly, adding the talents of Nordhus gave this band a well-needed move in a Darker direction than they might have had by keeping the female vocalist.
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“Third Age Of The Sun” by Battlelore

Artist: Battlelore
Title: “Third Age Of The Sun”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 8/30/2005
Genre: Folk Metal
Rating: 8/10

Napalm Records succeeds again in bringing you a very interesting band. Battlelore is an officially sanctioned group that performs in costume and settings based on the writings of author J.R.R. Tolkien and when you see their photos it’s like looking at a promotional poster for “The Lord Of The Rings”. It’s a unique premise to say the least and when you listen to the whole piece you will find it’s a very appealing mix of Traditional & Black Metal mixed with Operatic and Folk elements. The topics of the songs are based on the Tolkien works and sing of Orcs and Trolls (even Gollum has his own song). The group has a lot of great stuff going on and the female vocalist Kaisa surely can hold her own against contemporaries such as Liv Kristine while Mykkanen growls like his Black Metal peers. Leave it to Finland to offer this band up as the Country is making sure that Metal remains fresh and exciting. The group is made up of a whopping seven members and includes two Brothers with Kaisa Jouhki (vocals), Tomi Mykkanen (vocals), Jussi Rautio (lead guitars), Jyri Vahvanen (guitar), Timo Honkanen (bass), Maria (keyboards, flute), and Henri Vahvanen (drums). With a lot going on across the span of the album its difficult to judge at a first and second listen. You will find yourself needing a few more takes at it to fully absorb the deft complexity of their playing. The band will hold an appeal to not only fans of music like Korpiklaani and Fintroll or Leave’s Eyes but also those that enjoy their music taking them to far away lands and fantastic places. Favored numbers on the release are “Valier – Queen Of The Valar”, “Trollshaws” & “Cloaked In Her Unlight”.
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Kreator @ B.B. King Blues Club (2/26/2006)

Logo - Kreator

Artist: Kreator
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Napalm Death
Date: 2/26/2006
Label: SPV Records

Kreator! The legendary thrashers led by Mille Petrozza are back and continuing their support of 2005’s amazing and powerful release on SPV Records “Enemy Of God”. The appeal of this band to their following is impressive for when they passed through mid-last year one can understand a sold out venue; yet a return that finds the same result is excellent some 8 months later especially since there was no new release or DVD to promote. In the roster of German Thrash Metal bands of the world, there is a “Big Three” and this is comprised of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. To me, Kreator is the best of the lot with Destruction holding a close second to Sodom’s third. You might disagree and that’s okay. Tonight they would be returning to NYC to decimate the Metal populace and do this with the one and only Napalm Death as their direct support. The growing in popularity venue for Metal was a ravenous monster to be inside tonight that is for sure. Opening the show or sharing the headlining bill Century Media Records own Napalm Death. The music of Napalm Death is a brutal mix of Hard Core Punk and Thrash Metal and despite my limited background on them they certainly proved that the mosh pit would be in full force during their performance. The group also rocketed through 24 songs and while that seems long it was not the case with many of their tunes having a short length. The band has been around since 1987 and are considered legendary in the genre. It’s high-speed and brutally in your face music and tonight a large amount of material would be from their latest release “The Code Is Red”. If hard core punk influenced metal is what gets you stomping then you should be paying attention to Napalm Death and what they offer you as a fan. They did go over well this evening and I am sure impressed others like myself who are not on top of them.
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