Artist: Katatonia Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY) Opener: Swallow The Sun, Orphaned Land, Gwynbleidd Date: 9/10/2010 Label: Peaceville Records
I started my September concert adventuring with the crushing Melodic Death Metal of Order Of Ennead who played over at Santo’s Party House last week and it was good warm up to the festivities happening over at the Gramercy Theatre this evening. Tonight was the Atmospheric Melodic Doom of Katatonia from Sweden who would be joined by Swallow The Sun care of Finland and this alone would make for an amazing show without any additions. We would of course be getting a lot more for it would be complimented by Orphaned Land and local talent Gwynbleidd. I had to say that I was really looking forward to this show because it had been a long time since half of the players had been enjoyed in concert while the other half were only recently seen by this music scribe and left me totally impressed. The show would be held at the Gramercy Theatre and be sold out for many days by the time it actually would be taking place. I made sure I was inside nice and early because I didn’t want to miss a second of what was going to happen. Here is how it went down. Continue reading Katatonia @ Gramercy Theatre (9/10/2010)→
Artist: Orphaned Land Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: Suidakra, Gwynbleidd Date: 3/8/2010 Label: Century Media Records
The weekend is almost always sanctuary for the workaday types and those that are entrenched in study. If they are lucky, by the time that it comes around it has given them the escape of a rousing Metal show and this past weekend, as our March Metal Madness began, we surely had our fill because the mighty Kreator performed on Saturday around the corner at the Nokia Theatre while last night was Hammerfall down at The Fillmore. I could think of no better way to prepare oneself for the usual grind and while Monday’s almost always suck when it comes down to it – this would not be the case tonight because down inside the welcoming walls of B.B. King Blues Club, a show of amazing proportions was going to take place. From Israel would come Orphaned Land, a band that while making a couple of appearances at a Prog-Metal festival over the years had never embarked on a lengthy tour of this region and their direct support for this batch of shows would be Germany’s Suidakra. We caught Suidakra once before over at The Highline Ballroom when they appeared for the Pagan Knights tour with Tyr & Alestorm. Starting the evening off for all of the gathering Metal heads would be Brooklyn’s own Gwynbleidd. Continue reading Orphaned Land @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/8/2010)→
Now that I’ve lined out all the music that blew me away during the 2009 year, its time to lend my focus on the Concerts and Events that we attended. In looking back on it, I would have to say that 2009 was probably the biggest year that I ever had as a music writer and photographer based on not only how many cool concerts there were, but how many I was able to find myself taking part in for your eventual entertainment as readers of the site. I think that I caught something like 95 shows which is a new record for me and probably one that will be very difficult to beat but of course I have been saying this for three years. Below are some of the events that I felt were the most exciting of them all.
The Best Concerts of 2009:
“Paganfest USA – 2”: This time around the tour would feature Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Primordial, Blackguard and Swashbuckle and really be an impressive one. What made it exciting for me was the chance to see Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow and Primordial for the most part because none of these bands had ever done a proper tour in the USA. I found Blackguard to be a nice surprise as well.
Judas Priest & Whitesnake (Epic Records/SPV Records): Judas Priest would celebrate their 30th Anniversary of the “British Steel” albums while the Snake would be celebrating two incredible releases of their own. The show featured a solid set from both bands and was a gig that many would talk about for months. According to reports, Priest recorded one of the shows and plans for the video/audio to be released with a special edition of “British Steel”. Whitesnake in turn also released deluxe editions of both “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue” this year.
Marduk @ The Gramercy Theatre (Candlelight Records): After having missed the Blackenedfest a few months earlier, Marduk was on US Soil to crush the Metal legions. This was an intense show that delivered on all counts and impressed all those fans who had wanted to see them a few months earlier.
Saxon @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): Saxon had not done a proper US tour in some years and this NYC show would be one of two appearances and be done for a sold out room. The mood and the Metal were intense this evening and proved to many that the Old School glory of traditional Metal had not and will never subside.
Paul McCartney @ Citi Field: I was lucky to catch one of the three performances by Sir Paul McCartney who did a night of wonderful tunes. Lots of Beatles and lots of Wings, which is all classic stuff and still relevant to all fans of good ole Rock & Roll. A DVD/CD would be released of this historic visit.
The 69 Eyes @ Gramercy Theatre (The End Records): The Helsinki Vampires were “Back In Blood” supporting a new album that really delivered the goods and reminded their fans why they remain so special to them. It also featured the talents of Dommin and The Becoming. A very dark night in NYC to say the least.
Mayhem @ The Fillmore NY (Season Of Mist Records): This was called the Blackened Metal Fest and while it depressed some that Marduk was off the tour, the True Mayhem delivered a frightening and powerful set of Black Metal that focused on the bands influential years.
KISS @ Madison Square Garden (KISS Records): Love them or hate them, NYC and Madison Square Garden are nothing less than home for KISS and their show always pulls out all the stops. The rousing good time celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the “Alive” CD and found much of the set focused on that live classic. A lot of other different and more unexpected numbers were in place this time around which made it a great experience. I could have done without Buckcherry as they bored me with their set. Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Concerts and Events→
I don’t think anyone is going to argue about 2009 going by like a train without brakes and yet here we are at the part of the year where we line out what we viewed to be “The Best” of the year in terms of albums, videos, concerts, events and books. We’ve aimed at making this a yearly thing and while it’s a lot of fun to share with you it’s also quite a bit of work; This is especially the case when you go way over a small list and keep on writing. With this this installment I’ll be offering up the albums that I got to listen to and liked the most out of the rest of them during the year. Sure we probably missed some that you are expecting to see here but you don’t get your hands on everything in this line of work no matter how you try. So sit back and relax and lets get to onto the main event.
The Best Albums Of 2009:
Mastodon “Crack The Skye” (Sire Records): Mastodon continually push their own musical envelope and this release finds them more a Progressive Psychedelic Rock outfit than a Metal band and the band’s following didn’t mind a bit based on the incredible music that was to be found on this one.
Epica “The Classical Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records): Their 2nd effort for NB is this incredible concert experience that finds the band presenting mostly film score classics and then their greatest numbers with a full orchestra accompanying them. A wonderful experience and one that will impress the most difficult of fans – my hope is that this comes out on DVD sometime soon.
Heaven And Hell “The Devil You Know” (Rhino Entertainment): The most anticipated release for the first half of the year would be this new “Sabbath” album and it did not disappoint at all. Nice and heavy and loaded from beginning to end with solid Metal memories. Hoping this lineup hangs around a lot longer before pursuing other projects.
KISS “Sonic Boom” (KISS Records): Whether you support the fact that a couple of new faces wear familiar makeup or not, the band released a strong album and offered a great batch of extras with it to boot. The Wal-Mart exclusive nature of it made it a best seller that was actually a lot of fun.
The 69 Eyes “Back In Blood” (The End Records): Thanks to producer Matt Hyde The 69 Eyes were indeed back to raw Goth Hard Rock basics and moving on from the glitz they were steadily approaching. Lots of catchy stuff on this one and let’s hope this direction maintains course. Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Music Part 1→
Artist: Maciej Kupinawski (guitarist/singer for Gwynbleidd) Label: Black Currant Music Interview Date: Genre: Melodic Death Metal
I remember the first time that I heard Gwynbleidd and it was when a friend suggested that I look into them based on their being located in my own hometown of Brooklyn, NY or very close by when it came down to it. The band was just releasing their EP “Amaranthine” and had delivered it to those who would choose to listen on their own dime without any sort of record label funding. The EP was received very well and led to the bands composing and eventually releasing the stunning full-length album “Nostalgia”. The time between the EP and the full-length has been interesting for the guys in the band and recently I sat down with guitarist/death growler/composer Maciej Kupinawski to find out some of the inside mechanics about Gwynbleidd. Below is our full discussion.
PiercingMetal: How long has Gwynbleidd been together and what actually led to the band s formation and to have you push forward on behalf of the Metal genre.
Maciej: Gwynbleidd was first started by Michal and I back in 2002. Adam joined us around late 2004 in preparation for the recording of Amaranthine EP. By beginning of 2006 Gwynbleidd was fully assembled. We have all already had some experience within metal genre before the formation of the band, with other more or less successful projects. Personally I became interested in metal because at the time, and still, I believe that it is the most diverse and unrestrictive genre of music which allows for a lot of creative freedom while making it possible to deliver emotionally strong statements and push the innovation envelope.
PiercingMetal: Let’s talk about the band s actual name “Gwynbleidd”. Is there any special meaning or significance to this and what events about you and the guys guided you to call the band this very mystical sounding name.
Maciej: The band name was borrowed from a book by Andrzej Sapkowski called “Wiedzmin” (the Witcher) which Michal and I were fans of. At the time the book was not as well known as it is today, but now in fact there’s a video game called the Witcher and there was a (not so great) movie made by based on the books as well. As far as the meaning, the name was not chosen for the literal translation but rather for the symbolic values inspired by the book’s tale of the struggle of values and questions of morality. The fight between old and new. Tradition and Innovation. Such struggles we also try to present within our music. Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To Gwynbleidd’s Maciej Kupiszewski→