“Extreme Guitar Shred” by The Great Kat

Artist: Great Kat
Title: “Extreme Guitar Shred”
Label: Music Video Distribution
Release Date: 4/12/2005
Genre: Speed Metal
Rating: 5/10

The Great Kat is perhaps one of the most interesting people in music and she has been for a pretty decent amount of time. I was never sure what to make of her or her work but I always knew she was one of the fastest guitar “shredders” ever and very interesting visually. Her personality and behavior often defy description and this DVD entitled “Extreme Guitar Shred” contains several of her videos featuring her unique brand of mayhem. Her videos are definitely not for the faint of heart and more geared for the gore-fans. It is like watching chaos as she shreds the guitar at lightning speed and wails a high pitched banshee scream over most of the material. While it is apparent that she knows how to play, she does not break character at all in the videos, and since there is no extra footage to observe you only get these 6 videos to make your decision. I have seen Kat in interviews on Metal Shows, and she never stops being the wild and unpredictable person she comes of as in the music. It might have been interesting to see a different side of her on this DVD, for instance, Blackie Lawless on stage is not the same person offstage. The same applies for the Legendary Alice Cooper. I would have appreciated the chance to see where she feels this all comes from. Just giving the viewer a few videos is not all that much since they are so short.
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“With Teeth” by Nine Inch Nails

Artist: Nine Inch Nails
Release: With Teeth
Label: Interscope Records
Date: May 5. 2005
Genre: Industrial
Rating: 7.5

On With Teeth Trent Reznor drops most of the Sturm und Drang trappings of his previous forays through the industrial charnel house. By peering out from behind the Halloween mask, Trent comes to the realization that unadorned exploration of the human psyche is more horrifying than all the creaking doors, banging pots and video Gran Guignol that has come to be synonymous with Nine Inch Nails.

That most of With Teeth’s songs are more immediately accessible then much of NIN’s output does not mean they are any less tortured. In fact stripping away most of the aural mis en scene that has cluttered the NIN sonic landscape (as well as the instrumental passages of the last studio album, 1999’s The Fragile), allows a closer, scarier, look at these songs’ creator. So this time NIN bites NOT with the Hollywood makeup dentures of the latest teen scream film but the gnawing insecurities and psychoses with which everyday people eat themselves alive.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Drummer Bobby Jarzombek

Photo - Bobby Jarzombek

Bobby Jarzombek. His name is synonomous with powerful drumming. It was by listening to Riot that I first heard his playing and was totally blown away. Yet my attention was really put on alarm when he joined Rob Halford’s band and recorded and toured with them. From there, he joined Iced Earth filling in quickly for the departed member Richard Christy and is now working on PainMuseum, a release from Demons and Wizards as well as a new Halford CD. When you add to this his drumming DVD you will not believe that he actually had time to answer these interview questions. Yet, he proves how ambidexterous he can be for his supporters. Enjoy these words from his mind directly.

PiercingMetal – Hey Bobby, thanks for taking the time to do this, as I know you are a very busy guy these days. For starters let me congratulate you on the position in Iced Earth as well as the new release you have with “Metal” Mike Chlasiak, and Painmuseum entitled “Metal For Life”. Let’s get started.

Bobby Jarzombek – Cool, let’s do it.

Iced Earth Stuff:

PiercingMetal – I have to say how impressed I was with how quickly you jumped into the Iced Earth drum throne. Please tell us about how you handled the learning of the tunes and the quick need to perform in a live setting.

Bobby Jarzombek – After Richard recommended me for the gig, I had a couple conversations with Jon (Schaffer) about the songs, click tracks, etc.. They sent me 2 sets/versions of CDs. The first set of CDs were the songs as they appeared on the IE CDs. The 2nd set of CDs were rough mixes of what we’re listening to in our in-ear monitors while we’re playing the songs on stage, including the click track, orchestration, cannons, marching percussion, etc.. Pretty much what the audience hears also – except for the click track. These CDs were very important because after I learned the songs I needed to practice with the click track CDs to listen for the cues, count offs, etc.. After talking with the rest of the guys, I found it surprising that everyone had the click pretty loud in their ears, including Tim. He loved it. During certain sections (of the songs) without drums, he found it much easier to sing in perfect time with the click going.
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“Dreamworld” by Operatika

Artist: Operatika
Title: “Dreamworld”
Label: unsigned
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Operatic Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

New Jersey based Operatika has finally completed work on their demo CD entitled “Dreamworld”. The 4 track piece is actually only 3 full songs, but you can definitely get the feel for the type of music Operatika brings to the table. Fronting the group is Slava Popova who is blessed not only by her beauty but her incredible voice as well. There were a couple of factors that I enjoyed about this demo right off the bat. The first would be the amount of production that they placed in it as it seems as though many bands are making sure that their work is represented as best as possible before presenting it to a record label or fan base. As one listens to this piece, you think yourself finding a sampler of a major release.
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Chris Caffery @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/28/2005)

Logo - Chris Caffery

Artist: Chris Caffery
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Alex Skolnick Trio, ZO2
Date: 4-28-2005
Label: Black Lotus Records

Savatage’s own Chris Caffery was onstage once again and this time it would not be with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Supporting his debut solo CD “Faces”; Chris would be joined by his band and be kicking some serious Hard Rock ass tonight. Here’s how it all went down at this show which was billed as “It’s All Good”. The title held in back of it the fact that all of the featured bands would have players that are in some fashion associated with the holiday juggernaut that is the TSO in some fashion. It was a great idea but you really had to understand the logic behind this mini festival of friends before going in. If you had reservations about it you clearly did not get the point that they were trying to make. The roster for the night would be Steve Broderick, Katrina Chester, Z02, Alex Skolnick Trio and Chris Caffery.
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