Tag Archives: alice cooper

Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The DVD Reviews – Part 1

These video overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their DVD reviews section back in 2006. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but to also showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. These posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here we go with the first group of DVD Reviews.

Alice Cooper: “The Nightmare Returns Tour” (1987) (Universal Music)

1986 – It was the year that Alice Cooper would reinvent and rise from the fallings he had found himself in the middle of. He was both unable to get attention for his latest music and also was recovering from the pains of alcohol addictions. Despite these turn of events Alice would rise like a phoenix and take hold of the power of Shock Rock that he helped create so many years ago once again. The DVD filmed in 1987 was shot on a very appropriate Halloween night in front of a sold-out crowd in Detroit. Alice’s return would also show a new and very Metal side to his brand of Rock for a change; this would be a welcome format for the classic numbers that suddenly seemed to have so much more attitude and life than they ever had before. The eerie opening of “Welcome To My Nightmare” would set the pace as Alice emerged from under the stage to a blast of Metal power from his new band. The legendary performer was smart to bring on a truly kick ass Metal band for this tour whose lineup consisted of the Rambo-esque Kane Roberts, Devlin 7, Kip Winger III, Ken Mary, and Paul Horrors. Most know that Winger and Roberts went on to solo careers with Kip being the one who found the most success of the two. The Alice Cooper set for the show would be chocked full of fear-filled hits and over the top stage dramatics for every one of them. “Billion Dollar Babies” finds Alice performing with a baby doll on a sword as he throws play money around while “Only Women Bleed” finds him singing to an apparently lifeless dummy, which is not as it seems for the whole song. “I Love The Dead” is among the truly terrifying moments in the show as Alice meets the Grand Executioner and let’s just say heads will roll with this one. It is not a scene for the timid, and Alice and company pull it off without a margin of error. The overall choices in the songs for the show would satisfy the most ardent of Alice supporters, but better still serves as a great new take on his classics for those who might not have enough knowledge of his work. My personal favorites are too numerous to list, but the best example to describe this is as a live Greatest Hits concert video. Everything you expect and more is there to enjoy and since this is the first time on DVD you should buy it to witness a master at work.

Amon Amarth: “Wrath Of The Norsmen” (Metal Blade Records)

Quite a few bands claim to be Vikings and there are also many who hold the spirit of their ancestors high but I have to admit that none pull this off as effectively as Amon Amarth. This DVD celebrates their longtime allegiance to the Metal Blade Records family and it the kind of DVD that is perfect for existing fans but also the manages to win over potential ones. I can attest to this since I was one of these potentials who after seeing them support Fate Of Norns on the Children Of Bodom tour can admit to being blown away. The group was only able to do a little more than a handful of songs but you could tell by their presence and the crowd approval that there was much more to this group than most openers had to them. This DVD gives you 7.5 hours of concert footage to absorb and it should be more than enough to help you feel the same way as we did that night. This lengthy piece offers five full concert appearances with a performance in Cologne from 2005 being the longest. It runs a full 22 numbers and even includes a full Viking battle. The dramatic lighting added to the impact of this segment very well. The other performances come from Summer Breeze Festival, Live at the Metal Blade RRROOOAAARRR, Wacken Open Air, and Live in Ludwigsburg. There is no real bonus stuff to speak of but you do get the Metal which is a factor that works best for me. A DVD done properly with no pointless banter and endless crowd shots and screaming drunken idiots. No one buys DVD’s for that as opposed to the music and bonus content should never overshadow the main part of the program. There are instances of song duplication but that is to be expected when one has five whole shows to sit through. On the whole you get practically all of the music the band had recorded over the years. More bands need to follow in this example and give the audience a better value for the money the are spending on them. Many groups possess a lot more footage than we ever see so this release was a pleasant surprise for me to watch. I found no disappointment at all – Now, if you’ll please excuse me – I have a sword to sharpen.
Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The DVD Reviews – Part 1

“Along Came A Spider” by Alice Cooper

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “Along Came A Spider”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 7/29/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The man that is held single handedly responsible for being the focal point of almost anything shocking in Rock & Roll has returned with another sinister piece of music and this time around the one and only Alice Cooper finds himself as a serial killer in “Along Came A Spider”. Yes, his latest album essentially is a concept album and while it’s true that many of these kinds of albums are coming out fast and furious nowadays, its also true that Alice is not new to the idea and has done this on more than one occasion over the course of his career. The great thing about “ACAS” is that it still has a fresh Hard Rock angle to it, and calls to mind Alice Cooper of the early days and successfully works the crunching guitars with the macabre lyrics that the singer is laying down. For the album, Alice takes on the persona of a serial killer known as “The Spider” and the killers’ signature is wrapping his victims in silk once he has finished with them. He also removes a leg from each victim as a trophy. TV fans might realize this as something that you would want the guys on “Criminal Minds” to investigate or perhaps even our friends over on “CSI”. While it is a morbid premise to make an album about, we can all agree that society does find some fascination with serial murderers based on how many stories about them populate our mainstream media outlets. They’re on regular TV almost weekly and we also had popular movies featuring such monsters like Hannibal Lecter & Sweeney Todd to line out some examples. Either way, when its under Coopers direction the topic continues to remain as gripping and as frightening as it usually is.
Continue reading “Along Came A Spider” by Alice Cooper

Heaven and Hell @ Jones Beach Theater (9/8/2007)

Heaven and Hell have been kicking ass since the decision to reform the mark 2 version of Black Sabbath and now they would continue to smite the unbelievers with the Metal by taking both Queensryche and Alice Cooper on the road with them. We headed down to Jones Beach Ampitheatre to enjoy this one and those Metal heads who wish to learn more can click the logo to see our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.

Logo - Heaven and Hell

Artist: Heaven and Hell
Venue: Jones Beach Ampitheater (New York, NY)
Opener: Queensryche, Alice Cooper
Date: 9/8/2007
Label: Rhino Entertainment

I honestly felt that I was present when Heavy Metal history was being made as Heaven and Hell first toured earlier this year and stopped at New York City’s own famed Radio City Music Hall. The show sold out in minutes and the entire event would be captured and released on individual DVD and CD’s and since then each of these items has become quite the blockbuster seller. The band then made sure to hit as many regions as possible and after NYC they would visit New Jersey with both Megadeth and Machinehead as tour support but soon each of those bands would need to adventure out on their own tours so if you caught one of those shows you were a lucky Metal head. This change in opener allowed HAH to set up an end of Summer appearance with the legendary Alice Cooper and the mighty Queensryche, and for this particular show we would travel out to the Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY (or Long Island to many readers) to see what was happening. Here is how the night went down for those who were not present.
Continue reading Heaven and Hell @ Jones Beach Theater (9/8/2007)

Alice Cooper @ Roseland Ballroom (10/21/2006)

Logo - Alice Cooper

Artist: Alice Cooper
Venue: Roseland Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Wednesday 13
Date: 10/21/2006
Label: New West Records

When I look back on my concert attendance over the past year it seems that I have not been to The Roseland Ballroom in quite a long time. Come to think of it there has not been a lot of Metal shows coming through town that have booked the venue and it seems as though anything worth attending has been at either B.B. King Blues Club, Irving Plaza or The Nokia Theatre anyway. It makes the rockers happy to know that no less than 4 major venues are at their immediate convenience and now we would all get the chance to enjoy someone who needed a place like Roseland, the Father Of Shock Rock – Alice Cooper!!!! I admit to being excited about this one, for while I have always enjoyed a major portion of his catalog, I had never seen him perform live outside of what was available on DVD. The show would take place very close to Halloween and I can think of no better time to enjoy a show like this. He would bring with him an opener of similar style and vibe, the Horror Rocker Wednesday 13. Here is what went down for the show.
Continue reading Alice Cooper @ Roseland Ballroom (10/21/2006)

“The Nightmare Returns” by Alice Cooper

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “The Nightmare Returns”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 8/14/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5/5

In 1986, Alice Cooper would reinvent and rise from the fallings he had found himself in the middle of. He was both unable to get attention for his latest music and also was recovering from the pains of alcohol addictions. Despite these turn of events Alice would rise like a phoenix and take hold of the power of Shock Rock that he helped create so many years ago once again. The DVD filmed in 1987 was shot on a very appropriate Halloween night in front of a sold-out crowd in Detroit. Alice’s return would also show a new and very Metal side to his brand of Rock for a change; this would be a welcome format for the classic numbers that suddenly seemed to have so much more attitude and life than they ever had before. The eerie opening of “Welcome To My Nightmare” would set the pace as Alice emerged from under the stage to a blast of Metal power from his new band. The legendary performer was smart to bring on a truly kick ass Metal band for this tour whose lineup consisted of the Rambo-esque Kane Roberts (lead guitar), Devlin 7 (rhythm), Kip Winger III (bass), Ken Mary (drums) and Paul Horrors (keyboards). Most know that Winger and Roberts went on to solo careers with Kip being the one who found the most success of the two. The Alice Cooper set for the show would be chocked full of fear-filled hits and over the top stage dramatics for every one of them. “Billion Dollar Babies” finds Alice performing with a baby doll on a sword as he throws play money around while “Only Women Bleed” finds him singing to an apparently lifeless dummy, which is not as it seems for the whole song. “I Love The Dead” is among the truly terrifying moments in the show as Alice meets the Grand Executioner and let’s just say heads will roll with this one. It is not a scene for the timid, and Alice and company pull it off without a margin of error. The overall choices in the songs for the show would satisfy the most ardent of Alice supporters, but better still serves as a great new take on his classics for those who might not have enough knowledge of his work. My personal favorites are too numerous to list, but the best example to describe this is as a live Greatest Hits concert video. Everything you expect and more is there to enjoy.
Continue reading “The Nightmare Returns” by Alice Cooper