“The Realm Of Napalm Records” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “The Realm Of Napalm Records”
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genre: Gothic, Folk, Viking Metal
Rating: 5/5

If you are a fan of Gothic, Viking, Folk or Atmospheric Metal in general and you don’t know about Napalm Records then you are truly missing out. The label has been putting bands like this on the map for the past couple of years and it seems as though everything I hear from their artist roster is an enjoyable display of the wondrous differences one can have happen in Metal music. This DVD/CD release is a cornucopia of those acts and you as the viewer get video films as well as live performance footage of what they offer you. It’s as much a fun thing to watch as it is a learning experience about bands that you would not have readily available to you in most areas or unless you knew exactly where to look for it. On the DVD you get 19 promotional videos and of the lot, I most enjoyed Leaves’ Eyes, Korpiklaani and Tyr. Leaves’ Eyes is one of the label’s main artists so they also get an enjoyable special feature elsewhere on the DVD where you find them in studio and take a Winters Walk with singer Liv Kristine. It makes this something that a Leaves’ Eyes fan will enjoy very much since there is a batch of extra footage on the band that they might not find anywhere else. Tyr is an interesting group from the Faroe Islands while Korpiklaani shows the world that even a flute or accordion player can find their way into a Metal group as they deliver some of the most rousing Folk Metal you will hear in a long time. If you enjoy Finntroll, then you will also appreciate Korpiklaani.
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“Greatest Video Hits” by Poison

Artist: Poison
Title: “Greatest Video Hits”
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/5/2001
Genre: Glam Rock
Rating: 8/10

When it comes down to the depiction of the Hard Rock scene of the eighties Poison is one of the first who comes to mind when you think of “HAIR METAL”. Whether you loved the band and found them brilliant or hated everything that they stood for and called them posers there was to be no denying that they made an impact on the music scene of the time. The band was an immediate hit on MTV and frequently held the highest positions in their top ten video countdowns; mind you this was a regular occurrence because back then MTV actually showed videos and the Hard Rock scene of the 80’s was one of the things that fostered this networks growth as a pending super power. During their heyday, this band was not on my list of favorites but even though this was the case I thought that their videos were always a lot of fun. They were young, playing hard rock music and every scenario showcased a lot of fun antics going on. They all looked like they were having a good time and they always seemed to land the best-looking girls in all of these films. These factors led to a large part of the bands appeal for it seemed like they were all living the Rock and Roll dream of stardom and success. What teenager did not long for a life like that when it came down to it. Looking back on these videos, some which I have not seen in many years made me realize the band in a different light. In today’s world the music of Poison is considered “Classic Hard Rock” and along with artists like Cinderella, and Ratt (all who still tour in some fashion) formed the larger part of the “Hair Metal” genre. The title is somewhat unfair because even though the hair was big and loaded with spray the bands could perform and always would give the audience a time they would not forget. The 17 videos featured on this DVD will bring you back in time when you begin watching. If you were one of those who grew up along with MTV and voted in those countdowns then most of these videos will be as clear as a bell to your memory and probably bring back other recollections from the time.
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Morbid Angel @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/9/2006)

Logo - Morbid Angel

Artist: Morbid Angel
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Behemoth, Krisium
Date: 4/9//2006
Label: Earache Records

This was going to be a concert for the record books for not only would we be finding ourselves in a sold out room for Morbid Angel, one of the true legends of Death Metal; but we would also be finding the appearance of the devastating Behemoth from Poland and the skull-crushing power of Krisium. I remember seeing many of these bands on their own and feeling my bones shake in my skin so I was not sure that I would be able to handle the three of them together in one sitting. Given each group is of some note I wanted to give a little commentary on each individually for maximum metal effect. Read on if you dare – you know you want to.
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“Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology” by Carl Palmer

Artist: Carl Palmer
Title: “Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 10/9/2001
Genre: Progressive
Rating: 7/10

Carl Palmer is one of the most amazing drummers to ever sit behind the drum kit and this Anthology gives the listener a little different approach to the man and his very inspirational career. Comprised of several songs by mega Progressive genius’ Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP for short) as well Asia, Mike Oldfield and more it’s a decades spanning listen to some of his best work. Given the different bands featured we will review a little bit about each one for better appreciation of the piece. ELP was among the more unique of bands every to come out of the Progressive Rock scene in the early 70’s. Known for over the top displays of instrumental adventure and above par musicianship it was easy to see why the level of appeal for this band was so great. Keyboardist Keith Emerson was a wizard on his numerous level setups and keeping it interesting throughout each song was Carl Palmer. Carl gave new meaning to the words drum set using a mega-sized percussive setup that would make the gear head drummers drool with glee every time they saw it. Carl was also a master on this drum set and treated them as individual instruments proving to the world that the drummer was not always someone who simply kept time during the song. Every effort by ELP was as much a contained solo expression as much as a demonstration of their song-writing. The first twelve songs are ELP tracks but not the ones you would expect to find on an Anthology. Instead of the popular vocal numbers like “Karn Evil” and the rest you are treated to the instrumental displays like “Toccata” and “Concierto for Percussion”. Great stuff that you would not normally find unless you looked deeper into the bands catalog.
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“METAL: A Headbanger’s Journey”by Sam Dunn

Artist: Sam Dunn, Scot McFayden & Jessica Wise
Title: “METAL: A Headbanger’s Journey”
Label: Warner Music Group
Release Date: 5/23/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 9/10

Sam Dunn found his love of Heavy Metal music at the very early age of twelve years old. The message and the power of this music stayed with him through his formative years and into adulthood as he became an Anthropology student. The study of mans evolution led to his deciding to apply the knowledge to explore and investigate the music he loved so much. He felt there was a level of anthropological detail in the way the music began in history and the factors that have kept it alive in the hearts of the fans that support it in legion and the bands that have come from its influence. It was an interesting idea and I admit that I liked the aspect as I glanced over the press copy of the film. Released as a double DVD set, you get the full 96 minute movie and a bonus DVD of a ton of features that make this something worth referencing against your own Metal love. As I watched I was impressed mainly by the level of detail placed within the film and the research done to put it together. Using a Metal history chart, the film is set up where Metal began historically and how it sprouted off into a number of other genres each holding its own unique audience and style. Dunn ties this all together and gives everything a level of coverage even if it is not the style he prefers. The other standout point of the film is that Metal is taken seriously and not presented as idiotic or childish. There are enough programs that belittle the form at every possible chance and it was admirable to see this would not be one of them. Popular music factions of today want you to believe that Metal is dead and you will see by the film and its commentators that this is very far from the truth. At one point of the film Dunn states regarding Metal “you either get it or you don’t”, “if you do then great, but if you don’t we don’t really care nor need you”. A bold but true statement that’s many of the readers will find themselves in agreement of as they revisit their own defenses of their musical preferences.
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Where Heavy Music & Pop Culture Collide

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