Well it’s that time of the year again and that means it’s time to share with you all what I felt were my very favorites from all of the stuff that was reviewed here on PiercingMetal for the musical year of 2007. I will keep this introduction short and instead let these highlights shine a little brighter. Here we go.
Best CD’s of 2007:
Let’s just consider this a sampling of some of the music that we found ourselves listening to on more than one occasion be it on the stereo loud enough to wake the neighbors or on our music players. We review hundreds of discs each year and this batch are among the best and most enjoyed by our editorial offices.
Epica “The Divine Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records) – So the singer you have heard on some Kamelot stuff and her band have delivered their third release, a magnum opus that is meatier than beef stew when it comes to satisfying content.
Kamelot “Ghost Opera” (SPV Records) – If you wondered how the guys could top “The Black Halo”, then pick up a copy of this one.
After Forever “After Forever” (Nuclear Blast Records) – You’ve heard her in Ayreon stuff for years now the larger populace can enjoy
Daath “The Hinderers” (Roadrunner Records) – Crushing, thunderous, topical. Interesting lyrical premise as well.
Nightwish “Dark Passion Play” (Roadrunner Records) – Tarja who? The band is back and on fire with new singer Annette Olzon, “Bye Bye Beautiful” indeed, “Hello Beautiful” as well…..
Dream Theater “Systematic Chaos” (Roadrunner Records) – New DT was quite satisfying. I’ve been a fan for years and this album reminded me of why that is the case.
Opeth “The Roundhouse Tapes” – An Opeth live concert recording that finds them on tour supporting their newest album and yet making time to fit in their classics. Stunning.
Within Temptation “The Heart Of Everything” (Roadrunner Records) – a long awaited US debut from Dutch Gothic Metal superstars is loaded with catchy numbers and sure to make them more of a household name.
Symphony X “Paradise Lost” (SPV Records) – With this new CD they are firm and strong and no longer is anyone opening band. Welcome to the big leagues guys, your journey was hard and long but now you are rewarded.
Katatonia “Live Consternation” – I am late to the table about these guys and loved what I saw in concert when they appeared in NYC. This live CD and DVD make up for lost time and I am now a lifer.
Moonspell – Under Satanae – Go forward with me back in time for the re-recorded early Moonspell music that shows us the bands roots in a brighter or shall I say “darker” productive light.
Helloween “Gambling With The Devil” – Heavy and fast moving, a record that made me realize Helloween was aiming to take back their once held position as a super power of Power Metal.
Ensiferum “Victory Songs” – I felt like pillaging after this one.
Dimmu Borgir “In Sorte Diaboli” – “You don’t know the power of the Dark Side” is what you will be accused of unless you snare this masterpiece from Norway’s biggest Symphonic Black Metal band.
Behemoth “The Apostasy” – The Polish dealers in Blackened Death Metal are back and taking no prisoners. Run for your life while you can.
Melechesh “Emissaries” – Thrashing Sumerian Black Metal. Confused? Don’t be, but don’t hesitate about snaring a copy of this exciting and groove laden slab of Metal.
Megadeth “United Abominations” – Mustaine and company can pat themselves on the back again and again with this one. An album that showed us just how incredible Megadeth can be. I wonder what Metallica will offer up whenever their newest arrives. Doubt that it will beat this release.
Porcupine Tree “Fear Of A Blank Planet” – My first go at the band and what an introduction. Everything about this album delivers in terms of production, musicality and message in the words.
Machine Head “The Blackening” – This album broke ground for the band and made those who had not yet been schooled in their ways become attentive pupils.
Best DVD’s of 2007:
If you felt that you watch too much TV then the DVD’s are surely not going to help you get out of that easily. 2007 saw an abundance of them being released, here is a quick list of favorites.
Heaven And Hell “Live At Radio City” – Lucky for those Metal heads who didn’t get a ticket to the show, the entire concert was released on both CD and DVD for them to enjoy in the comforts of home.
KISS “KISSology 2” & “KISSology 3” – Vintage footage of my favorite band, concert footage of my favorite band, and interview footage of my favorite band. Happy? Hell frigging yes. Nuff said.
Metalocalypse – Season 1 – The cartoon geared for Metal heads was an uncompromising success and had everyone talking. Irreverent and yet still intelligent in how it’s delivered. Not for minors but a must for all those who bleed the Metal.
Nightwish “The End Of An Era” (Nuclear Blast Records) – The chapter on the book of Nightwish with Tarja closes with this spectacular concert film. It also includes an audio CD and booklet, and if you love Symphonic Operatic Metal this is one to add to your list of must haves.
Queensryche “Mindcrime At The Moore” – The Ryche delivers their stunning Metal opera “Operation: Mindcrime” and its second chapter at one show that features actors and actresses as well as interesting props. It brought the story to bigger and more vivid life and was a video that kept you on edge.
Best Concerts of 2007:
Ozzfest 2007 @ PNC Bank Arts Center – This was the first and quite possibly the only free Ozzfest concert and it was by far the heaviest in the tours history. It gave us the likes of Behemoth, Chthonic and Nile the chance to shine and added the might of Lamb of God, Lordi and Static X to the hits of Ozzy. You know this was a show that will go down in Metal history.
Dimmu Borgir @ Nokia Theatre – Hail to the Dark Lords of Norwegian Black Metal. They returned to NYC like conquering kings and there is little more I can humbly say.
Nightwish at Nokia Theatre – the return of the band that opened the door for many who followed. New singer, new material, new energy.
Kamelot and Leaves Eyes at BB King Blues Club – love the Kamelot dudes and the music they make. A continually satisfying and energetic concert experience. The addition of Leaves Eyes to this bill made it a fantastic night for me. Welcome to the new order of things.
The 69 Eyes and Wednesday 13 @ Blender Theatre – a Finnish band that owes much to the early days of NYC punk has really been making some noise over here after far too many years not being able to visit and tour for their fans. Welcome to the US guys and thanks for bringing the grooviest ghoul Wednesday 13 along for the ride. W13 is a modern day Alice Cooper and giving proper respects to the still reigning Shock Rock king.
Heaven And Hell @ Radio City Music Hall – How do you measure a historic show? Well, let me tell you to simply watch the DVD or listen to the CD of this one and you shall have your answer. Black Sabbath reunited with Ronnie James Dio doing only material from the albums they recorded together – Horns up everyone.
Megadeth @ The Fillmore NY – a small club for a band like Megadeth is always a treat. New lineup is locked in and exciting. Mustaine also had In This Moment as an opener and while some of the head bangers didn’t get what they were doing, I find them to be one of the up and comers to watch out for. Great show.
Emperor @ B.B. King Blues Club – Black Metal legends are apparently calling it a career and this show was to be the bands final appearance in NYC. Band breakups are as inconsistent as the weather and only time will tell. This was a brutalizing affair regardless.
Epica @ The Highline Ballroom – Epica is one of the most powerful and promising in the Symphonic Metal genre. This show proved it. It was also the first and last appearance of the lineup of Visions Of Atlantis in the states with the lineup seen at this show. The game was upped by the appearance of Montreal’s Unexpect and The Agonist. A night many shall remember.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center – OK it was mostly the same show from the previous years with little differences but this year the special guest at my show was Roger Daltry of The Who, and what a way to close out a concert then with show stopping classic Rock staples.
Van Halen @ Madison Square Garden – Let’s see, Dave Lee Roth is back in Van Halen and touring. The show I have prayed to happen for two decades. Thank you guys for figuring out that this tour was for the fans than about petty squabbling.
The Drech of 2007:
Marillion “Somewhere Else” – Listeners were advised to buy “something else” instead of this disappointing release from the once prolific Progressive Rock outfit. Can this be the same band I once loved?
Ozzy Osbourne “Black Rain” – Ozzy sings about his being here for us and holding the weight of the world on his shoulders since he is never going away. Listeners will wish he splits fast when they hear this rubbish.
Remember that the reviews of all of the referenced releases and covered events can be viewed on the site, so feel free to search for them as time allows and get a more detailed view on them along with photographs. Let me know what you felt was the best and even worst from this year’s output in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.