These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. 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 would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, 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 are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.
Burn Season: “Burn Season” (Bieler Bros. Records)
After initial dealings with the folding Elektra Records, Burn Season found their brand of Nu-Metal Heaviness on Bieler Bros. Records. The group is closer in style to that of early Linkin Park as opposed to the recent crop of Metal Core acts and holds a passionate style that makes the oft-lambasted Nu-Metal label a little more acceptable. Solid riffs and harmony vocals tempered with the razor screams of Damien Starkey are par for the course with this self-titled CD so if you enjoy Hard Rock with a dose of today’s “edge” mixed in for good measure then this is a group for you.
The Casket Salesmen are much along the line of a melodic experimental rock band than their cryptic name would ever have you believe. They blend alternative feels with tasty rhythms and melodies to give you an enjoyable dose of Rock & Roll. Led by singer/guitarist Phil Pirrone the group adventures into several different genre territories and yet still manage to capture the listener’s attention on every cut. There is a lot of Post-Punk vibe that sometimes touches upon the Prog-Rock angle along with some Ambient feels that make the band something worth listening to a few times before making rash judgment. Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 2→
Artist: Dethklok Venue: Nokia Theater (New York, NY) Opener: Chimaira, Soilent Green Date: 6/25/2008 Label: Williams Street
Dethklok is a Heavy Metal band that is not all that easy to describe using conventional terms but I shall attempt to give it a go. For starters, one needs to realize that the overall power of the band is nothing short of legendary and the impact of their music on the Metal terrain of the imaginary world in which they walk borderlines on the extraordinary. This is pretty powerful stuff when you consider that we are speaking of an animated band from a far away future. Given that, one would have to wonder just how a real life invasion on this plane of existence would be able to come to pass. Fortunately for everyone inside the Times Square Nokia Theater tonight, there would be plenty of time to learn and enjoy just how this was going to be done and the show would find these juggernauts supported by Soilent Green and Chimaira. The popularity of the “Metalokalypse” show on Adult Swim that features Dethklok has proven to be so big that this particular show in New York had been sold out for many weeks in advance and what was interesting to me as an observer was all the wide varieties of Metal fan that were present for this event. You truly had a representation of all different genre fans and that just goes to show how many people this program is reaching. Soilent Green was coming up first and they are usually an interesting act so I made sure to get in place to check them out. Here is how the evening went down should you have missed it. Continue reading Dethklok @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (6/25/2008)→
Killswitch Engage was back and ready to crush a soldout Roseland Ballroom tonight. They would be performing with Dragonforce, Chimaira and He Is Legend and we were able to document the full show and get photos of three of the bands. To check out more about this incredible event just scroll past the logo below.
Artist: Killswitch Engage Venue: Roseland Ballroom (New York, NY) Opener: Dragonforce, Chimaira, He Is Legend Date: 3/01/2007 Label: Roadrunner Records
It was dubbed the “No Fear Music Tour” and that’s pretty much par for the course when it came to Killswitch Engage invading The Roseland Ballroom for a night of Metal mayhem. The group would be supporting their newest release “As Daylight Dies” and bring with them the ever hot Metal presence of Dragonforce, the crunching riffs of Chimaira and He Is Legend. Those that were able to snare tickets for the show would surely get a lot of value for their money tonight. I made sure to arrive early enough to see all the bands for this one and by the look of it – hundreds and hundreds of other Metal heads had the same idea as me. It was sure to be a good night and here is a little bit of the action for you to absorb. Continue reading Killswitch Engage @ Roseland Ballroom (3/1/2007)→
Artist: Chimaira Title: “Resurrection” Label: Ferret Music Release Date: 3/6/2007 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 3.5/5
2007 finds former Roadrunner Records artist Chimaira armed with a new label, a toughened resolve and firm perspective as they offer their following a “Resurrection”. Now as a part of the Ferret Music family the band can get back to the business of auditory assault once again. As soon as the CD begins it finds the band slamming it down and feeling so in-synch with each other that the listener can feel it on almost every track. It opens with “Resurrection”, which is a powerful number and this will set the pace for that which is experienced on the rest of the album. Lead singer Mark Hunter speaks of the album as being the “most-together” that the band had ever been in their history and this would be an album about rebirth. You will find that Chimaira is still holding true to their Metalcore roots and there is a lot of the Groove Metal that they became widely known for present here as well. They also feel that this is their heaviest and most technical piece to date and I tend to agree with that statement from the moment that songs like “Six” begin to play. This number is an epic, and runs a full nine minutes in length – its not often the kind of track one finds a band like this delivering for once you surpass the five minute mark you are pushing the limits of personal punishment. This contribution to the release surely shows that one of Metalcore’s purest contributors have really grown in style over the years. They change things around with the elements found in “Black Heart”, one of the better tracks here which has an almost Middle Eastern guitar vibe intro that’s more suitable to bands like Melechesh. The production on the release is also quite strong which works when it is a band of this caliber and had the finesse of Jason Suecof (Trivium, God Forbid) while additional production came care of Andy Sneap (Nevermore, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). Overall the album shows very clearly that the Metal fury is still beating strong in this band. Continue reading “Resurrection” by Chimaira→
Artist: Danzig Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY) Opener: Behemoth, Chimaira, Mortiis Date: 10/17/05 Label: Evil9
Labeled the “Blackest Of The Black” tour this show would have Glen Danzig taking to the stage once again and New York’s brand new Nokia Times Square Theatre would be the place to be. He would also have some very interesting Metal with him as Mortiis, The Agony Scene, Himsa, Behemoth and Chimaira made up the rest of the touring roster. I will speak on the venue separately a little later. Given the early start time I am sad to report that I missed both The Agony Scene and Mortiis but I did manage to catch a good amount of the Himsa set. They are not that bad from what I saw and while most of their material leans to the Metal-Core edge there is a sufficient “traditional” vibe being displayed in some of there songs. The crowd was not as good yet in terms of numbers but that was slowly growing and the shiny new floors of the club were soon to be scuffed by the moshing audience. Behemoth came up soon after and this would be the 3rd time that I will have seen them and I can attest that you do not have to be a Death Metal fan to enjoy the power and brutality that this band brings to the table. They are both impressive and imposing and tonight I felt they would be a hard act to follow no matter who was on the bill. They primarily showcased material from the CD “Demigod” and despite one technical glitch in the middle of the set they simply assaulted the audience note after note. Nergal is a great front man and in addition to the corpse paint that Behemoth already sports he comes out dressed as the Demigod late in their set. It adds a larger sense of drama to the performance and makes them a good choice as opener for Danzig and the material he lays down. Some of the tunes they performed were “Sculpting The Throne ov Seth”, “Demigod”, As Above So Below”, “Conquer All”, and “Anti-Christian”. I felt Behemoth knocked most of the people attending for a loop. This was the biggest US crowd that I had seen assembled for them and they performed accordingly. Continue reading Danzig @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (10/17/2005)→