Category Archives: Features

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

PiercingMetal Talks To Atrocity’s Alex Krull (3/30/2008)

Alex Krull is the imposing front man for the German Metal band Atrocity and when he is not doing that, he shares the stage with his beautiful wife Liv Kristine in the band Leaves’ Eyes.  We saw Atrocity as a part of a Death Metal festival show back in 2005 and were blown away by their intense power so we were a little bit surprised when the band decided to release a follow up to their covers album as opposed to another mind melting Death Metal epic.   The album was entitled “Werk II” and since the group had not returned to our shores sine that 2005 we sat down at the keyboard and did an email interview with the main man of the band.  To learn more just scroll past the logo.ain site.

Logo - Atrocity

Alex Krull is the imposing and dynamic front man for the band Atrocity and for the past couple of years he has also been a part of the growing popularity that is Leaves’ Eyes, the Gothic Metal sensation that’s fronted by his wife Liv Kristine. As a band, Atrocity has walked many different paths over the course of their career and while beginning as bone crushing Death Metal have morphed into Symphonic Melodic Death and even touched upon that which is Gothic. Capable of delivering surprise after surprise, the band followed up the epic “Atlantis” with a second volume of classic 80’s New Wave with “Werk 80 II”. We snared some time with Alex and talked about things Atrocity, Leaves’ Eyes and life as a touring musician with a family. Read on for his insight into the new album, videos that are in the making and how he manages to keep a balance with all of these exciting projects.

PiercingMetal: Before we discuss the new album, let’s talk a little about the band in the touring sense. The last time that Atrocity appeared in the States was during an Extreme Metal festival which made a stop at the now closed down CBGB’s in NYC. Since the group went over so well at this appearance, I had expected to see you performing again shortly after but it didn’t happen. Why doesn’t the band gtover to this region a little more often?

Alex Krull: Yes, you are right; the US shows we did went very well! And I have to say it’s a pity that couldn’t have the chance to come over more often with Atrocity to the states, also back in the past of the band! At least we managed to tour a couple times with Leaves’ Eyes in the meantime, and we’ll be back with Leaves’ Eyes in September and maybe we have the chance to play also some shows with Atrocity then or in the future. Well, let’s see. In the moment we are happy that we finished the album, after we toured nearly in 40 countries in the last years with our two bands Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes and on top we had this big production with a symphony orchestra and choir for the “Werk 80 II” record! So it took all a little bit longer than expected but we are very happy with the result. Many fans allover the world asked for another WERK 80 album, so here we are and we had great fun producing it as well as it contains new ideas and elements, too!
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To Atrocity’s Alex Krull (3/30/2008)

PiercingMetal Talks To Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth from Overkill (1/18/2008)

Logo - Overkill

Overkill is one of the legends in the Thrash Metal annals of history and the band while going through a number of guitarist lineup changes has remained the core of D.D. Verni and Blitz for decades. Consistent touring and album releases prove that the band still has what it takes to entertain the fans. There are few bands like Overkill because not only are they able to say that they helped the genre form but they also never really swayed from the path since their inception in 1980. The band recently released their new album “Immortalis” on new label Bodog Music and they are seldom found off tour. Having just caught a smoldering gig at B.B. King Blues Club, we made plans to speak to the bands enigmatic front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth at his earliest convenience. We caught up with him on the telephone in the beginning weeks of 2008 and found him eager to talk about a wide number of topics that ranged from the bands beginnings all the way up until today. We talked about a little bit of everything that Overkill was up to and even covered some of the singers other adventures in life and music. The transcription of our entire conversation is presented for you below.

PiercingMetal: As Metal history has documented quite well – Overkill was one of the very first Thrash Metal bands around so I am curious as to what it was like performing this type of Metal back when the genre itself was still in its formative stages.

Blitz: Stop, I think I’m popular but I think that what made it sell was the commitment to it. Not just by ourselves but by those who were also within the genre, those who believed. Obviously that following grew into legions at one point and still to some degree to this day. There was a great value to it and it was influenced by what had come out of the United Kingdom with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and with us stuff like the Dead Boys and The Ramones to a certain degree, Motorhead. It was different, it was new, but I think there was a great belief in it and that’s what sold it in time.

PiercingMetal: When the group first began what would you say appealed to you most about the kind of music you chose to do and what events led to the formation of Overkill.

Blitz: My Father sat me down I remember and I was in college but we were doing gigs at night and it was Overkill, rather a version of it and I think it was right before Bobby Gustafson had joined the band, and he said “so what do you think about this music thing?” and I replied that I think we have a great chance to make some noise and maybe get a deal etc.etc. and he goes “are you sure it’s not just about free beer and girls” (laughs). Years later I confessed to him that in those early days I had lied to him and that it was mainly about free beer and girls. But there was something different about it obviously and it was aggressive, it was action versus reaction and I think that this was the first time barring Punk that there was action versus reaction music. Definitely for the first time in Metal. Pits formed, and there was natural movement in the crowds, stage-diving started up. The Hardcore scene grew out of it so in some sense it was the planting of the seed that became the mighty oak. So it was really cool to be there at the beginning.
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth from Overkill (1/18/2008)

PiercingMetal Talks To After Forever’s Floor Jansen (10/21/2007)

After Forever had impressed me from the moment I first heard the album “Invisible Circles” and while the release was in fact their third, I did what I could to find their back catalog until the band signed onto the Nuclear Blast Records artist roster in the middle of 2006. Towards the end of that year, the band was touring the US for the first time ever as the special guest support of Overkill and when they stopped in NYC we found a nice space in the backstage area of B.B. King Blues Club to talk to the groups incredible vocalist, the beautiful Floor Jansen. Scroll past the logo below to enjoy our entire discussion.

Logo - After Forever

Floor Jansen is the bombastic vocal force that leads the band After Forever into the hearts of Melodic Metal fans around the world. 2007 found the band signing to Nuclear Blast Records and releasing a self titled album that was one of the most exciting releases of the year. We caught up with Floor when the band was making their debut appearance as direct support of legendary Thrashers Overkill. We secured some space in the backstage area of B.B. King Blues Club and aimed at covering a wide number of topics based on the many experiences and challenges that Floor and company had faced as performers. Below is the transcription of our entire conversation.

PiercingMetal: Hails to you Floor, so I am guessing it’s safe to say that you are happy to finally be bringing After Forever and their music to the fans in the USA. How would you say that the tour is coming along so far and what was the Prog Power show like? How has the reaction from the audience been for After Forever on the whole?

Floor: Well ProgPower was what we started out with which was like the first real show here in the states and to immediately be headlining a festival was like huge. It was really, really fun and people were really into it and really knew our band and that was really surprising for us to see how many people actually already knew us. There were so many old albums that we were signing even though they had never been released here and I guess we kept on running into that during this tour that a lot of people did know us. It’s still a relatively small crowd of course so I think for the next time we would definitely benefit more if we could be a support act for an even bigger band or similar genres but yeah it’s cool to see how many people from all kinds of different styles really like our music.
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To After Forever’s Floor Jansen (10/21/2007)

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2007: Music, Video and Concerts

Well it’s that time of the year again and that means it’s time to share with you all what I felt were my very favorites from all of the stuff that was reviewed here on PiercingMetal for the musical year of 2007. I will keep this introduction short and instead let these highlights shine a little brighter. Here we go.

Logo - The Best Of

Best CD’s of 2007:

Let’s just consider this a sampling of some of the music that we found ourselves listening to on more than one occasion be it on the stereo loud enough to wake the neighbors or on our music players. We review hundreds of discs each year and this batch are among the best and most enjoyed by our editorial offices.

Epica “The Divine Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records) – So the singer you have heard on some Kamelot stuff and her band have delivered their third release, a magnum opus that is meatier than beef stew when it comes to satisfying content.

Kamelot “Ghost Opera” (SPV Records) – If you wondered how the guys could top “The Black Halo”, then pick up a copy of this one.

After Forever “After Forever” (Nuclear Blast Records) – You’ve heard her in Ayreon stuff for years now the larger populace can enjoy

Daath “The Hinderers” (Roadrunner Records) – Crushing, thunderous, topical. Interesting lyrical premise as well.

Nightwish “Dark Passion Play” (Roadrunner Records) – Tarja who? The band is back and on fire with new singer Annette Olzon, “Bye Bye Beautiful” indeed, “Hello Beautiful” as well…..

Dream Theater “Systematic Chaos” (Roadrunner Records) – New DT was quite satisfying. I’ve been a fan for years and this album reminded me of why that is the case.

Opeth “The Roundhouse Tapes” – An Opeth live concert recording that finds them on tour supporting their newest album and yet making time to fit in their classics. Stunning.

Within Temptation “The Heart Of Everything” (Roadrunner Records) – a long awaited US debut from Dutch Gothic Metal superstars is loaded with catchy numbers and sure to make them more of a household name.
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PiercingMetal’s Editorial for 2007

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Editorial: The Year in Reviews for 2007

Since launching back in early 2005 I’ve made sure to get one of these editorials done annually as a means to not only look back on the previous years Metal activity but to also offer some insight into the things that lie ahead. As a web presence for the genre that we all hold near and dear, I’m happy to report that has grown exponentially since the idea first dawned on me. The original premise that we began with was based on the need to tie all of my writing together yet it was only a few months after launching that I came to realize that it would become my primary focus as a means to deliver as much Metal information as the readers could absorb. I feel fortunate to be the overseer of this little enterprise and based on the things that we heard and the adventures we had in 2007 it’s time for us to take a trip back into the not so distant past. As in our previous editorials we have divided the commentary into areas of focus as this allows us to form some easier frame of reference. 2007 was quite the musical ride across all genre aspects and I found this to be a positive sign of change as Metal continues to claim ground and prove the naysayers incorrect as to its place in popular media. Let’s begin our examination shall we?
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s Editorial for 2007