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.

“Heading For The East” [DVD] by Gamma Ray

Artist: Gamma Ray
Title: “Heading For The East”
Label: Sanctuary Visual Entertainment
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 6/10

My first exposure to the music of Gamma Ray was back in 1991 when Kai Hansen had left Helloween to start this side project of power metal. I really liked the first CD entitled “Heading For Tomorrow” and fortunately for me the core of the material comes from this release. Power metal was slowly becoming my music of choice since the States was being consumed with the Grunge movement. Now, I liked most of the bands that came out from this movement, but I preferred the majesty and drive that European Power Metal had to offer.
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“Evil Comes…Alive” [DVD] by Force Of Evil

Artist: Force Of Evil
Title: “Evil Comes….Alive!”
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 03/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Late last year the core founders of the band Mercyful Fate (Hank Shermann and Michael Denner) started a new Heavy Metal band called “The Force Of Evil”. This CD has been already reviewed to high marks on the site and is being very well received in the Metal world. How could it not, since it is essentially all members of Fate plus Hal Patino of King Diamond and newcomer Martin Steene of Ironfire. Our review can be found HERE.

Filmed in Stockholm in November 2003 one can see the band in its live infancy. I say this as it is filmed during the bands second performance ever, and one cannot tell that this is the case. The tunes are good and heavy and the production of the DVD is solid, clear, and not one instrument over powers any of the others. I especially liked how Steene sounds live, one is always concerned that the vocalist on the CD does not sound the same live. I also like his voice as it suits the material very well. However I was not 100% crazy about the way he sings the Mercyful Fate material but I think this is because I am too used to the way King Diamonds voice sounds on these numbers.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Iced Earth’s Tim “Ripper” Owens (4/29/2004)

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Tim “Ripper” Owens was no longer a member of Judas Priest and had moved on when the Metal God Rob Halford chose to return to their ranks. Of course the singer would not sit idly by and instead would hook up with the one and only Iced Earth and record their stunning “The Glorious Burden “CD. The powerful release found the group touring to support it and playing with Children Of Bodom as their direct support along with Sweden’s Evergrey. We caught up with the vocalist backstage at the venue and discussed a few of the recent happenings.

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KP – Tim it’s indeed a great pleasure to meet you face to face and let me first thank you for taking the time to sit and talk with me on behalf of the Metal Circus

Ripper: Good Man

KP – So it’s awesome to see you in New York again, so how does it feel to be back in the Big Apple

Ripper: It’s great you know I was just doing some promotion here not too long ago did MTV and Sirius Music and a bunch of stuff but its nice to play here. We should be playing someplace a little bit bigger though I think.
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“Live At The Monsters Of Rock” [DVD] by Gary Moore

Artist: Gary Moore
Title: “Live At The Monsters Of Rock 2003”
Label: Sanctuary Visual Entertainment
Release Date: 10/2003
Genre: Rock Blues
Rating: 7/10

I have enjoyed the music of Gary Moore for several years, but being in the States he seldom makes his way over here. Since this was the case, I was glad to see the release of a DVD filmed at this years “Monsters Of Rock” tour. This piece was filmed as part of Gary touring for his “Scars” album. Joining him in the band is Cass Lewis on bass, and Darrin Mahoney on drums. Fans might be interested in the fact that Gary seems to have stepped back into his roots of Rock once again. He took some time off and became a blues man (and while it was done quite well), I still like to see him kicking some serious ass on the strings. He has not lost any of his skill at this medium.
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“The Glorious Burden” by Iced Earth

Artist: Iced Earth
Title: “The Glorious Burden”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 1/13/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

The new Iced Earth CD has just made its appearance on the shelves. The most visible change for the band has been the addition of new Lead Singer Tim “Ripper” Owens. As all metal fans probably know by now, Ripper was the replacement for Rob Halford in Judas Priest. When Halford returned Tim was free to pursue other bands. While I liked him as a fill in when Rob was not there to play, I feel he is better suited to Iced Earth. Given Ripper’s voice is so “Halford-like” there are many times when one listens to this CD and would think it is Judas Priest or Fight for that matter. This is unavoidable when your singer has this style to his vocals. Whether or not Ripper has just recorded the vocals on this album as a fill in guy, or whether he is a new fulltime member remains to be seen. It is my hope that he does stay, and given that I see some tour dates for my immediate area over the next couple of months, I am thinking this is a new step for him.
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