Category Archives: Features

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

PiercingMetal Talks To Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church (1/28/2007)

If you are a fan of balls out pure Heavy Metal power than you can never go wrong with one of the legendary mainstays in the genre, and I am speaking about none other than Metal Church.  I always loved that name since it resonated loud and when the band steamrolled into town as one of the openers for Overkill I was fortunate enough to have some time to sit down and speak to the band’s founding member, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof. We secured some space in the backstage region of B.B. King Blues Club and got to talking about the band’s new members and newest release on SPV Records.  Kurdt was a friendly dude who I definitely enjoyed speaking to and to see how the dialogue went down he early part of 2007 and was one of our first covered gigs of the year and not only featured Overkill as headliner, but Joey Belladonna (formerly of Anthrax) and Meliah Rage as support.  It was a really intense Metal night that no one left disappointed from. In 2006, Kurdt and his Metal Church band mates recorded and released “A Light In The Dark”; it would be an album that finds Kurdt as the only original member remaining in the roster but yet despite this there is a familiar feel to the recording. We asked him about the old days, the new days, the new members and music and here is the conversation we had. We are standing here talking to Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church one of the long-standing pioneers of the Thrash Metal movement. Kurdt, you have been part of the band since the beginning; I wanted to ask you what it was like being part of the growing Thrash Metal movement back then.

Vanderhoof: Well it was certainly quite exciting because it was a real groundswell and everyone was interested and it was just a real exciting time. Back then we were playing with all the bands like Anthrax, Slayer, and Metallica who were part of this movement and you really felt like you were part of something big. What appealed to you most about the aggressive music that this was as compared to the more conventional Hard Rock in the States and the NWOBHM from Europe.

Vanderhoof: Well it was the influence of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that got me into it and this was kinda transferred for me since I was also very into the first wave of British Punk as well. For me this got a little tired musically so when I started catching wind about the stuff that was going on in England at that time, it was like the perfect transition. So that was really exciting getting into the Iron Maiden, The Motorhead, The Saxon and the others who were along those lines. It felt like “here is my music” and especially when you are a kid of twenty years old.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Ashmedi & Moloch of Melechesh (11/18/2006)

Logo - Melechesh

Artist: Melechesh
Label: The End Records
Interviewed By: Ken Pierce, Editor In Chief
Date: 11/18/2006

Melechesh: The Masters Of Sumerian Thrashing Black Metal – The music Melechesh delivers is bone crushing Black Metal, but instead of Symphonic or Theatrical adventures the band reaches deep into the mystical nature of the Mesopotamian region. Their focus employs both Middle Eastern riffs and textures which give the listener a Metal experience that they are not soon to forget. It is thunderous and yet very intelligent and most certainly will intrigue those who seek something “more” than the usual in terms of Metal music. On assignment for Metal Edge magazine, I met with the band when they came to New York City for the very first time to do press for their latest release “Emissaries”. It was great to meet Ashmedi (guitarist, founder, vocalist and band mastermind) and Moloch to discuss the band, the new album and their views on many things Metal. Based on print considerations the interview was edited down for use in Metal Edge and can be seen in their March 2007 issue. Since you have been able to enjoy that article we are now able to present to you readers the complete and unedited interview that we did. Read on.

PiercingMetal: So gentlemen, how would you say that you are enjoying the visit so far?

Ashmedi: I like it, but I like coming to the States in general because it feels good here and I get along with the people. Its been very productive for us these last few days as there has been a lot of media interest in the USA which is a good thing because already in Europe the album is exploding. The media attention is just great. We are glad to be doing this in the States as well.

Moloch: Yeah it is pretty much the same feeling from me, and it’s great to be meeting the people from our label in the States and getting to know the people more and to discuss our future plans.

PiercingMetal: Let’s talk a little about personal origins; what did you both find inspirational as musicians when you started playing music in the first place

Ashmedi: Well with Melechesh…….

PiercingMetal: Let’s discuss before Melechesh.

Ashmedi: I had actually been playing in other bands before that for years and I have been a Metal fan for a long time, since I was at a very young age and not that I am that old now, I did start out at a young age. At the time, I was very influenced by general Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal. Now I tend to be very broad based in what I listen to. So if the music is done with a lot of conviction and feeling then I am attracted to it perhaps. When I started Melechesh it was around the time I was very interested in Bathory’s album “The Return” but I still was consciously wanting to do something with Middle Eastern patterns so there you have it, Melechesh is raw Black Metal with Middle Eastern touches you know.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Videos and Concerts

As I’ve already noted, it was a very exciting year in the Metal music world and as we draw to the close of 2006 its time to continue with what we felt was the “Best” of the year. In a previous post, I lined out all of the albums that I felt were the most awesome and now its time to line out the videos and concerts that were the same. I’ve also mentioned a few of the letdowns.

The Best Videos Of 2006:

Arch Enemy “Live Apocalypse” (Century Media Records): Do you love Angela Gossow? If not, I don’t want to be the one to tell one of the most imposing of female singers today. This is a band that has done serious damage since her arrival and shows no signs of stopping.

KISS “KISSology” (VH1 Classic) : You wanted the best and you got the best the hottest band in the world KISS!!!!! Disagree with me? Shut up and get out of my way or wise up and enjoy this incredible archive of video footage from a band that started more trends than you can count..

Rush “Replay X3” (Universal): 3 classic Rush out of print VHS films in a neato little package with mini-tourbooks, oh snap this was wonderful to see released.

Children Of Bodom “Stockholm Knockout Live” (Spinefarm Records): Are you doubtful that COB is one of the more exciting bands of today, then buy this DVD and come talk to me again.

Therion “Celebrators Of Becoming” (Nuclear Blast Records): Behind on your Therion, well this comprehensive and extensive boxed set will surely win you over and get you up to speed.

Stream Of Passion “Live In The Real World” (InsideOut Music): Arjen Lucassens project with the beautiful Marcela Bovio will take you to new musical realms. There was a companion CD released for this as well.

Whitesnake “Live in the Still of the Night” (Universal Music): Here they go again on their own, and guess what it all still kicks some serious bootie.

Sonata Arctica “For The Sake Of Revenge” (Nuclear Blast Records): One of the best live bands for Metal today. They hold the banner high for the genre.

Black Label Society “The European Invasion” (Eagle Vision): Doom Troopin’ Live: so much better on this DVD than the last one. A tight set of crunching Hard Rock and Metal.

Kamelot “One Cold Winters Night” (SPV Records): This is a concert film that will make you a fan for life. Dramatic, energetic, and passionate. Melodic Power Metal at its best.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Music

Another exciting year in Metal music has gone by and as a member of the music press, I’m tasked with not only doing reviews here on the website but also in lining out what releases that I felt were the years very best. Initially, this post was going to feature the whole gamut of the years in terms of the music, the videos and the concerts but when my album list went on and on and on I decided to give it a post of its own to go easier on you. Let’s go.

The Best Albums Of 2006

Mercenary “The Hours That Remain” (Century Media Records): A great follow up to “11 Dreams”, this band shows that they are taking chances in Metal.

Mastodon “Blood Mountain” (Warner Brothers): Jazz Fusion Metal? I dunno, but the new Mastodon sure kicks your ass around the block.

Amorphis “Eclipse” (Nuclear Blast Records): Finnish boys return and do more good. Lots of feels on this one.

Scar Symmetry “Pitch Black Effects” (Nuclear Blast Records): Raging guitar solos, soaring clean vocals, brutal death metal growls-brilliant!

Lamb of God “Sacrament” (Epic Records): Their best yet. Future legends. The first four songs are instant classics and if you don’t find your fist in the air for this release you don’t have one. Go watch American Idol

Iron Maiden “A Matter of Life and Death” (EMI Music): Up the Irons, pure and simple. Some bad press from some people who don’t see the return to form. They are idiots.

I “Between Two Worlds” (Nuclear Blast Records): Great project from members of Immortal, Enslaved, and Gorgoroth.

Enslaved “RUUN” (Candlelight Records): The Black Metal titans get even more progressive and this is an incredible listen from start to finish

Satyricon “Now, Diabolical” (Century Media Records): More Metal needs to be like this. A resounding effort that lays waste to that which tries to come close.

Vanden Plas “Christ O” (InsideOut Music): Stunning operatic progressive metal. Their best yet! Especially the bonus track
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PiercingMetal’s Editorial For 2006

Logo - PM Editorial’s Editorial 2006: The Year in “Reviews”

I clearly remember thinking that when 2005 was drawing to a close that it was going to be a hard year to beat in terms of Metal music as a genre on the whole. I said to friends that 2006 surely had its work cut out for it. On a more personal level, 2005 was special as well for we had just jumped into the fray a little deeper with the launch of It was a mid-year debut and while we felt it might go over well in time, we were not really expecting the resounding public response to the manner in which we present things. Metal websites are everywhere and for the most part “review” is essentially just someone’s “opinion” and not the “law” or “final word”; the great response to how we see the overall picture is something we appreciate and hope to continue to foster as time marches on. Heavy Metal music made some significant leaps in 2006 and pretty much made 2005 look like a shy effort. We broke down the happenings into several sections to make better sense of it and to present some thoughts on several of the more notable occurrences. Please read on.
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