Category Archives: Reviews

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Otep @ The Knitting Factory (2/25/2005)

Logo - Otep

Artist: Otep
Venue: Knitting Factory NYC
Opener: American Head Charge, Candiria, Blood Simple
Label: Capitol Records
Date: 2-25-2005

American Head Charge performed an electrifying set at their appearance at the Knitting Factory last night supporting their latest CD Release entitled “Feeder”. The band was the main opener for Otep and this combination was the perfect mix of quality songs as well as stage intensity. The Knitting Factory is a cool place to see a show, and according to the staff this well known Jazz club has been featuring the heavier music for some time. However, the tricky part is navigation and room. The stage is a little smaller than you would expect if you had a decent amount of equipment. This was painfully the case when AHC hit the stage. The band is 6 members strong, and not only had a full drum kit, but also a keyboard rig. The guys seemed to be almost tripping over one another, yet it did not get in the way of their performance at all. Playing what seemed to be just under an hour’ time, the group proved that their material is strong and will be interesting to see the future developments of the band.
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“Stonelake” by Stonelake

Artist: Stone Lake
Title: “Limited Edition”
Label: unknown
Release Date: 2004
Style: Melodic Hard Rock
Rating: 6/10

From Sweden comes the band Stone Lake. It’s tasty metal with a very retro 80’s sort of feel. However, the band lineup is only the Singer and Guitarist who pretty much do everything on the CD. Given the amount of talented Swedish musicians over there, I felt that they could have at least recruited a couple of their friends to play the tracks on the CD. The group members are Peter Grundstrom (vocals) and Jan Akesson (guitars/programming). The use of the programming takes a little of the punch out in these tunes especially in the area of drums. They sounded too fake to me in that area. The tracks are definitely immersed in the poppy side of metal. Bands like Danger, Danger and Warrant come to mind when listening to this piece.
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“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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“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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