“7 Weeks Live In America” by Stryper

Artist: Stryper
Title: “7 Weeks: Live In America, 2003”
Label: Fifty Three Five Records
Release Date: 5/18/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.8/10

Late last year Christian Rockers Stryper reunited for a small tour of the States. It was the first time in twelve years as a band that they had done this. I was able to catch one of these shows when they hit New York City. As a matter of fact, there is a review of this show elsewhere on the Metal Circus site (check Conciertos). This CD entitled “7 Weeks: Live in America 2003” is a souvenir to the fans of Stryper music to mark this tour happening. I enjoyed seeing the band reunite because of their positive message in a time where the world is full of so much less than that. So as a result, I also enjoyed the aspect of having the performances represented on a CD to keep in my music collection.
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“Century Child” by Nightwish

Artist: Nightwish
Title: “Century Child”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Operatic Metal
Rating: 8/10

When you take the time to consider the more standout bands in the world of Metal nowadays, Nightwish is probably one of the first to come to mind. With each release Nightwish brings you into a diverse world that combines metal with arias and epic orchestrations. Tarja Turunen definitely has one of the best and most beautiful voices to come along in some time. She has led the way for modern metal women of today to find a stronger foothold in the music we love. “Century Child” was the first readily available releases in the USA courtesy of Century Media Records. This is a great CD, and it quickly follows up on the success of “Wishmaster”. Beginning with “Bless The Child” you are quickly drawn into the sound of the band by Tarja’s warm vocals and a very eerie haunting melody. When the “End Of All Hope” kicks in you find that the group can be heavy as they find the need. This number is full of incredible double drumming by Jukka and great guitar wizardry of Emmpu. For those who enjoy a hearty chorus the track “Dead To The World” might be most impressive. I admit that on the CD, these few are actually among my favorites. When Nightwish first played the States a little over a year ago, they performed some these and it made enjoying them all the more easier.
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“Graveyard Classics 2” by Six Feet Under

Artist: Six Feet Under
Title: “Graveyard Classics 2”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 9/2004
Genre: Death Metal?
Rating: 1/10

I really did not know what to make of this piece when I first listened to it. I mean it is a track by track re-recording of the AC/DC Classic “Back In Black”, and then when the vocals come in it goes downhill. Knowing this happens a short minute after the original begins you know there is a lot of hill to roll down. Musically the CD is tight as it is an almost complete copy of the original record. It shows that the group is capable of playing more than their usual style of music which is indeed very heavy. It might have been a smart idea for the vocalist Chris Barnes to also try to use a different voice. It would serve better as an homage to the band in doing so.
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“Greatest Hits” by Creed

Artist: Creed
Title: “Greatest Hits”
Label: Wind-Up Records
Release Date: 11/23/2004
Genre: Alternative
Rating: 9/10

Creed was one of the few nu-rock/nu-metal bands that always seemed to get a large amount of airplay on most stations that featured rock as its format. It also seemed like any fan of rock music, all knew the songs of Creed. There were those folks who griped that there was too much Eddie Vedder in Scott Stapps voice, and of course that was bound to happen since the Seattle Sound gave way to that being a standard in modern rock music. The band had an illustrious and interesting career from their first record “My Own Prison” to their last piece “Weathered”. Each CD the home of numerous songs that not only became hits on the radio, but also became staples in the clubs as well as in many local band repertoires.
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“Faces”/”God Damn War” by Chris Caffery

Artist: Chris Caffery
Title: “Faces”
Label: Black Lotus Records
Release Date: 1/18/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Chris Caffery. The name will ring a chord in the minds of those who enjoy the music of Savatage and The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This past year the guitarist has been hard at work – not only has he had time to record a new Trans-Siberian CD, but he also did a Savatage semi-reunion at this years ProgPowerUSA Festival and also to record and produce his first solo CD. The disk is called “Faces” and all fans of this mans work will be more than pleased with the fruit of his labors. The performers are Chris’ TSO bandmates Jeff Plate (drums) and Dave Z (bass) as well as Paul Morris on keyboards. The vocals are handled by Chris himself and this struck me as one of the most impressive aspects. I had seen Chris sing numerous times during Savatage performances doing backups, yet never imagined he had as powerful and as good a voice as he ended up having. In my opinion he holds up along the likes of Sebastian Bach and singers within this range.
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Where Heavy Music & Pop Culture Collide

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