As a fan of the crushing Metal that the band Iced Earth consistently puts out there, it was great to hear the news about their re-issuing their crushing live album “Alive In Athens” for its own 20th Anniversary. Take a look down below for the full press release about it.
The Press Release:
American heavy metal group ICED EARTH announce the first vinyl edition of the classic 1999 live opus Alive in Athens out on December 6th, 2019 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the recording.
It’s once again with great sadness that I must share the news about another of our Heavy Metal stalwarts having passed with guitarist Ralph Santolla. Recently, his personal Facebook profile found the musician noting that he was not feeling well and not long after he would suffer a heart attack and soon fall into a coma. Despite the efforts to save him, the doctors found there was no promising change or hope of recovery and he was taken off of life support late Wednesday evening and would leave us at the age of 51. Such a shame.
Santolla was most famously known as one of the axe wielders in some incredible acts like Obituary, Iced Earth and Deicide. At one point in his career he kept up pace with the legendary Chuck Schuldiner in Death’s live shows but he didn’t record anything with them sadly. Ralph worked on a number of other projects that you can learn more about in his Wikipedia entry down below. One of them was a solo effort that his family maintains will see the light of day posthumously as soon as its possible to be addressed. A family member mentioned online that Ralph was an organ donor and that should some musical ability or razor sharp sarcasm come into play in someone’s life that it was likely due to Ralph’s presence with them. At least during this sad time that some other people can have a chance on a longer life. More should consider being a donor because its not like we need the stuff anymore once we pass on.
I met Ralph several times over the years thanks to the shows I was covering and sharing some mutual friends. He was a talented and interesting person for sure and the photos in this memorial reflection all feature Ralph from some Obituary tours that I covered back around 2007-2009. Two of these shows took place at the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club while the other was at the Gramercy Theatre which might have been called The Blender Theatre at the time. I didn’t remember seeing him in Deicide or Iced Earth but I could be wrong since those shows are so long ago in my memory at this point. Ralph was truly an excellent player that I think we only ever got to see a small part of since his talents were far deeper than only the Heavy Metal stuff that so many of us bore witness to.
Though there were many news outlets reporting on his passing days before, we opted to wait until the news was 100% final out of proper respect. We wish his family, friends and numerous band mates over the years the deepest of condolences during this sad time. Thank you Ralph for giving us some incendiary riffs for many years. May you Rest In Peace. We welcome fans of the musician to add their own reflections down below in the comments.
Attention all ye Metalheads, the mighty Iced Earth has announced “The Worldwide Plagues Tour” that will be hitting our side of the Atlantic in 2014. According to the press release they will be bringing along Sabaton as direct support and Revamp as the lead in opener. This is going to be a good one for sure. More after the poster.
The last time that I caught Iced Earth they were doing one of those co-headlining tours with the great Symphony X and of course since that band is from New Jersey, they got to close the NYC appearance. The show was great and was the first time that I got to see Mr. Stu Block laying waste to the Metal legions as their new vocalist. I’ve long been a fan of the sonic range that Block has from his years with Into Eternity and needless to say this show was a killer. As far as Iced Earth goes, I am not ashamed to admit that I was a very latecomer to the band but have done my best to support their efforts as a music scribe and photographer since becoming this back in 2003. It’s been fun to catch up to what I had missed before and help further their cause. Continue reading Iced Earth Will Bring “The Worldwide Plagues Tour” To 2014→
Looking back on 2012 as a concert going year I had to say that there were a lot of cool highlights for me. Sure I was compiling my “Year End Best Of” to cover all the different things that I’ve examined over the year but with the blog growing faster and faster and more contests happening on it for the crushing shows that hit our town, I decided to keep showcasing a number of the concerts that I saw during the course of the year. Bear in mind that these are my very favorite ones out of the whole bunch. I really had a great time seeing a number of shows but these stood out. Here we go.
1. KISS @ Live On Letterman: I don’t think that I need to go into how cool it is to see a band like KISS in the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The place holds 500 or so people and KISS sells out places that hold thousands more. See why I felt this was special. So yeah.
2. Nightwish and Kamelot @ Beacon Theatre: Nightwish and Kamelot both hold very special places to me as a music scribe and having them paired up for a tour was extraordinary.
3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: This show was the debut of the new “Lost Christmas Eve” themed tour.
4. Roger Waters @ Yankee Stadium: My second time at Yankee Stadium for a massive concert and with Roger playing “The Wall” from front to back I stood awestruck.
5. KISS & Motley Crue @ PNC Bank Arts Center: This was a kickass pairing and the guys in The Treatment were pretty damned good as well.
6. Lamb Of God @ Roseland Ballroom: Metal laid waste to NYC this night.
7. Paganfest @ Gramercy Theatre: Turisas headlined this one and brought along Alestorm, Arkona and Huntress.
8. Sabaton @ Gramercy Theatre: This band is climbing the pole of popularity. Local support
9. Rhapsody Of Fire @ Gramercy Theatre: There was so much drama with the RoF division leading up to this show but you would never notice with the levels of kick ass Power Metal that was happening on the stage.