Dragonforce will bring their brand of super sonic Metal to life at the Highline and get some support from Once Human and Gothic Knights.
Artist: Last In Line
Venue: Mexicali Live (Teaneck, NJ)
Opener: Gothic Knights, Tempt
Label: Frontiers Records
Written By: Katie N. (copyright 2017) for PiercingMetal.com
Performance Photos By: Rich Catino of Metal Asylum
Perhaps I am oblivious due to the fact that I grew up decades after the roaring energy of the 70s and 80s, but attending intimate club shows exposes and propels the crowd into an ambience unbeknownst to that of the grandeur of the festival stage. Sure, at the end of the day, it’s all about the music, but there’s just something warmer about the closeness and enthusiasm of being face to face with the music.
Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ embraced such an atmosphere. At first glance, I wondered how the 20X30 inch stage could provide sufficient room for Vinny Appice’s legendary drum setup along with the loud and grandiose movements of Vivian Campbell, but there was more than enough space for the guys to bring the house down. In fact, the only area that seemed cramped was the floor due to the fact that the show sold out. The first band was Lunatic Fringe and I’m always surprised and beyond ecstatic to see a younger generation embracing rock-n-roll and heavy metal. They were an eclectic bunch with an age range from braces to beards and an energy level of 11 measured on the classic 1-10 scale. Behind the energy was a very heavy and dark sound most reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Blizzard of Ozz” album. Although the venue wasn’t full at this point, there was an impressive showing and enough people standing to merit the group a large ovation.
Tempt: This one was an interesting addition to the night’s lineup. Although the band brought a more Bon Jovi-like vibe, they had more than enough vigor to drive the night onward. Most songs included an identifiable and melody mixed in with enough poppy synth and extravagant guitar solos to give me more of a feel of what the 80s actually sounded like. The growing crowd was more than happy with their performance.
Continue reading Last In Line @ Mexicali Live (3/24/2017)
Artist: Gothic Knights
Title: “Up From The Ashes”
Label: LMP Records
Release Date: 4/27/2004
Genre: Power Metal
Hailing from Brooklyn New York come “The Gothic Knights”! This is a band that shows that Power Metal has not only been relegated to the European Powers of the world. Given the fact that many Stateside bands are leaning to the Grind core or Thrash core vibe it’s a pleasant change to find some musicians holding high the banner of more inspirational Metal. Steeped in “old school” mannerisms Guitarist John Tsantakis shows he has been influenced by the melodic masters of the form and at times really rips it up. Bassist Mario Cosentino shows an adept level of skill as well thundering across the drums of Frank Gilchrist. Vocalist Rick Sanchez has some moments of shining glory as well and in particular makes “Warrior Of Faith” and title track “Up From The Ashes” among the best tunes on the album. Fans of vocalists along the line of Kiske and similar melodic wailers will enjoy the way he performs. The changing tide of the music industry makes it hard for a band like this to keep steady footing and perhaps that is why this album has such a familiar feel to it. Very musical and containing songs that are on the catchy side more than they are not; the band keeps it safe by not pushing the envelope all that much or taking any risks. That fact alone does not make this a bad album at all but might limit the impact they are setting to make with their music. Fans of the traditional feel of Metal will be impressed to some degree and again it is nice to see more Metal like this coming from the States. Other tracks of note are “Sleepy Hollow” and “Dear Queen”. The air of mysticism and the unknown is broken however by the bonus inclusion of “Hungry Like The Wolf”. The quirkiness of adding a Duran Duran number, even a metallized one takes away from the seriousness of the Metal they are delivering all around the album.
Continue reading “Up From The Ashes” by Gothic Knights
Artist: Jon Oliva’s Pain
Venue: Brooklyn Music Terminal
Opener: Chris Caffery, Beyond Fear
Label: SPV Records
The walls were set to rumble at the announcement that Jon Oliva the mighty “Mountain King” would be returning to Brooklyn with his band “Pain”. This “Metal Insurgence Tour” would be partnering him with Chris Caffery and Tim “Ripper” Owens. As everyone knows Chris Caffery performed with Jon as a member of Savatage and Owens is currently the front man of Iced Earth. Combined this would prove to be a great night of Heavy Metal power. Local talent Operatika and Brooklyn’s own Gothic Knights would set off the night for this particular show. Operatika, who have recently set their demo recording “Dream World” on the world performed a very short set of only three songs. I am not sure what transpired but it could not have been fun for the band. Gothic Knights were up next and this would be the first time on stage for them in over a year. After the release of the “Up From The Ashes” CD, the group had split with LMP and also had some lineup changes. Even after so long an absence they sounded very good and it’s nice to see Power Metal is not reserved as a European export. I look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.
Continue reading Jon Oliva’s Pain @ Brooklyn Music Terminal (9/16/2005)
Venue: The Downtown (Farmingdale, NY)
Opener: Gothic Knights
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
I first heard of Helloween by watching MTV (it was the late 80s). While I had been a Priest and Iron Maiden fan for some time I had yet to be exposed to the world of Power Metal. Today MTV is a far cry from those days and the new metal fan will have to wait until the off chance that the “Headbanger’s Ball” will luckily show something like this. This was an interest I maintained as among my favorite music styling in the heavy metal genre is power metal. Bands like Nightwish, Avantasia, Sonata Arctica and clearly one of the founders – Helloween comprise the core of my listening nowadays.
Continue reading Helloween @ The Downtown (1/16/2004)