Category Archives: Features

Parent category for all our assorted feature narratives. Each is filed under its proper theme.

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2008: The Music

If you have been observing the releases that came upon us during 2008 then you will agree that this was a tremendous year for Metal. We’ve noted in our editorial that it felt like the year of the comeback as much as it delivered new bands that we hope will shine far into the future. The multi-faceted genre that makes up our Metal not only delivered quality music releases but also DVD’s, Books and Concerts that left you sore and with that in mind we are lining out some of the best stuff that we felt was delivered. In this installment I will only be giving the tip of the hat to the best albums for 2008 since I liked a lot of them. Doing it like this lets us all keep a proper focus. Here we go.

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The Best Albums Of 2008:

Eluveitie “Slania” (Nuclear Blast Records): Pagan/Folk Metal of resounding proportions. I loved this one and played it quite a bit.

Meshuggah “Obzen” (Nuclear Blast Records) – Reminding us with every groove and spine crushing riff that they are one of the most powerful Metal bands on the planet. If this is news to you, then get with the program.

Journey “Revelation”(Columbia Records): New singer, new album, new versions of classic material & a DVD concert all in one package? Truly this is a standout release from the Rock legends.

Whitesnake “Good To Be Bad” (SPV Records): It’s as if no time had passed by and this CD came out after the juggernaut self-titled album from the eighties. Great work guys.

Def Leppard “Songs From The Sparkle Lounge” (Universal Music): I haven’t liked a Def Leppard album in years and was set on giving them up entirely until this one came out and showed us that they still had it in them.

In This Moment “The Dream” (Century Media Records): I knew I was seeing something special when I first caught them as an opener for Kittie, and this release shows musical and compositional growth from their killer debut that raises the bar. A must have album that offers much for wider scopes of fans. Trust me.

Origin “Antithesis” (Relapse Records): Clearly one of the most powerful Extreme Death Metal records released this year. This is smoldering stuff that moves at break neck speeds.

Keep Of Kalessin “Colossus” (Nuclear Blast Records): A band that has chosen to walk in the path of Dimmu and see what storms they can cause themselves is a worthy addition to the Metal collection. Killer stuff here.

Fish “13th Star” (Chocolate Frog UK): A return to form for the singer who once fronted Marillion. His strongest release in years and a must have.

Black Sabbath “The Rules Of Hell” (Rhino Entertainment): Collecting the four albums that Sabbath recorded with Dio and remastering them after many years of waiting, this was a must have release. Nicely packaged and eventually released individually for those fans who didn’t want the complete set.
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PiercingMetal & Social Networking: How We Use Them

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“Social Networking”

The term itself boils down to the ability to network oneself in a social manner, but the interesting thing about it in today’s society is that a lot of people are networking themselves via websites from behind the “safety” of their computer screens as opposed to interacting in person.  Over the last few years there have been quite a few social networking websites popping up and while some of them offer a person a lot of cool things there are those that are a complete waste of time.  As a website/online magazine, PiercingMetal.com has made sure that its presence is on several of the more notable ones in order to have those other account holders be better aware of what we are doing over on the main web page.  I will discuss all of the ones we are on individually as this now serialized blog posting comes to fruition.  This was originally one lengthy post with a number of mediums discussed, but the dramatic changes in many of the brands in the narrative forced my hand to edit it and present it to you in a different fashion.

In addition to the social networking sites where you can find an account that speaks about PiercingMetal.com in some sense, there are also ones where the Editor himself (aka Me) has a few profiles on.  By making myself known in this part of cyberspace I am able to upgrade my own personal networking goals.  As lined out in the previous paragraph, I will also discuss some of these sites and present my own views about which are good or bad or I have indifference to.  However, before you begin reading too deeply into this little musing, let me inform you about this item being no means of a gauge of one brand versus the other but instead a place where I can map out the existing other places online where we keep some manner of PiercingMetal.com presence.   I will of course give you my own personal opinion and let you know if I think that it worked for me or didn’t when looked at as a means to help expand what I am doing as a writer.  I am sure that many of you will agree with me about some of them, and disagree with me about the others.  Comments will always be welcome as each narrative topic goes live, but we do ask that you stick to the brand name being discussed and don’t go off on some wild tangent.

That being said, its time for me to close out on this introduction piece and say “tune in next time, same Ken P. channel, somewhat same time for the next thrilling viewpoint”.   I hope it’s something the informs you about your choices in this stuff.

Understanding PiercingMetal’s Affiliates Programs

The more that I get involved in this little website reporting and photography project the more I am asked as to how I actually keep it afloat without charging people for some of the services that we are continually providing to the reading public. Since I have never been able to determine how effective a website that charges money for what they offer is I merely reply – “primarily through our Affiliate Associations of course”. Based on this statement I wanted to use this particular post on PiercingMetal Musings to explain a little bit about them and how they help me continue to raise the bar on the site that you so often visit. Let’s begin by understanding exactly what an affiliate is.

Q: What is an Affiliate Association?
A: In most cases an Affiliate Association is a relationship with a particular company or provider of a service wherein any sales generated by a person who clicked through an advertisement or link will get the site who linked them to it a modest referral fee. Pretty simple right? One would think so when its explained like that so let’s get a little more detailed on some of the ones we have found working best for PiercingMetal.com

Q: Is bigger really better?
A: I’m sure it is for a lot of things but since we are dealing with the advertising medium let’s keep on that track and say a definitive “yes”. There are many BIG affiliate programs to look into so read on to learn more. How to decide what would be best would be paramount in the process.

When we launched the site we chose to work with affiliates who would offer our readers something they needed, wanted or related to those desires in terms of music, video and clothing. From this initial goal we signed up for an Amazon.com affiliation as well as ones through I-Tunes, Hot Topic, Guitar Center and Rhapsody. The latest addition was Sirius Satellite radio. Below you will find a link for each of the affiliates and we shall also explain them in a little more detail.
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PiercingMetal Meets Talking Metal on Fuse

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If you have been following any of the notable Heavy Metal sites that are currently online then you are probably already aware of one called “Talking Metal”, but if you are not let’s get a little introduction going. Talking Metal is a podcast site and its hosted by Jon Ostronomy and Mark Strigl who do interviews with some of the big guns in the Metal music world and with them try to provide an interesting outlet for those who like to hear those kinds of things. Over the last year, podcasts such as theirs have been taking off pretty rapidly in the online world and with the continuing dominance of digital music players like the Ipod, are something that people are really getting into. If you doubt me, just login to your I-Tunes or your Zune Marketplace and browse for them because I am sure you will find a podcast related to any number of topics that you find of interest. Once you sign up for them, you download it to your player and you can continue on in your day and listen to the show at your leisure. The Talking Metal podcast is also available on their website and can be enjoyed that way, but I like using the player myself since I am still learning about all its features. I’ve been happy to meet with the guys during my own Metal travels as I adventure out into the Concert scene of the Big Apple and I have to say that I really admire their dedication to it as well as the strides they have made in getting the Metal word around. As a provider of Internet Metal media content myself I know full well just how much work something like this requires. We had discussed and planned my appearance on one of their podcasts in the future but the scheduling was not really open for us to do it and that whole thing leads me to the subject of this little blog tale. Since its launch the Talking Metal guys have been able to generate some super high visibility with it and its impact did not go unnoticed for it all led to the fine folks at The Fuse Network giving them their own program that will air every week and let them expand upon the ideas and topics normally covered during the podcast.

talking metal on fuse, piercingmetal fuse appearance,
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PiercingMetal Musings Blog Hits 1st Anniversary (4/8/2008)

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You’ll have to forgive me here for taking a moment of the time for a bit of a public service announcement but its indeed true. Our now officially in play side blog for the PiercingMetal site, my “PiercingMetal Musings”, has reached its first anniversary. The Blog’s Year One is only a few days after our main PM.com anniversary and while I did not raise the banner about it in these writings, PiercingMetal.com is now three years old as well. The planning in that was more of a coincidence than synchronicity and we are now broadcasting to you all based in WordPress as opposed to its original Blogger account. So what do you think so far? Are you liking the idea of this?

I admit that I am not 100% sold on the idea of having a blog in addition to a traditional website because its an added facet of work to pay attention to. So far I’ve managed to list some of our older Editorial pieces along with the various side tales that I have experienced in my adventures as a Music Journalist. This has been fun to do because the side tales are perfect for this kind of thing. I’ve done an intro post about leading into the concert reports that I have over on the main site and that is purely because I want the search mechanisms that are involved in blogs to be able to find this stuff all the more easier. Additional traffic to the PiercingMetal.com brand is the main reason that I moved this blog to WordPress from Blogger in the first place because this is now 100% under my domain as opposed to sending the traffic somewhere else. An online presence is a constant numbers game and being from an Information Technology background, I love keeping my statistics up.
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