Tag Archives: saga

“Heads Or Tales Live” by Saga

Artist: Saga
Title: “Heads Or Tales Live”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 6/14/2011
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

Depending on your musical genre of preference and your location in the world the name of the band Saga is either one that brings you to hushed inspiration or a quizzical “why do I remember that name” and while I liked some of their material over the years, I have to admit to being in the latter grouping when it comes to their very rich catalog and history. That being said, I still enjoyed their sound and was very surprised to find longtime singer Michael Sadler moving on to pursue other interests in 2007 only to be replaced by Rob Moratti. With Moratti on vocals the band released the fine “Human Condition” album and while I found it a solid piece of music the longer standing band support structure gave the singer about as much love as when Gary Cherone joined Van Halen. It was a shame because the dude did a great job on their new stuff and as is evidenced with this live album was more than capable of handling their legacy material as well. That being said, the tenure of Moratti has already ended and the band welcomed back into the fold Michael Sadler in 2011 but we get this fine example of what Rob brought to their musical table as he helps the band deliver in full their third album “Heads Or Tales”. Recorded during the 2010 tour for “The Human Condition”, the band members were Moratti (vocals), Ian Crichton (guitar), Jim Crichton (bass), Jim Gilmour (keyboards) and Brian Doerner (drums). Oddly enough instead of giving us the new material with this release, the band instead gives us a full from back to front focus on their 3rd album “Heads Or Tales”.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Music Part 1

Logo - The Best Of

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.
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“The Human Condition” by Saga

Artist: Saga
Title: “The Human Condition”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 5/19/2009
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

You probably know this already if you are a long time fan of the band Saga, and that is the fact that long time lead singer Michael Sadler is gone from the lineup, having chosen to move on after some thirty years as its front man. That being said, you are probably already either still interested in the band or have chosen to switch your loyalty and if the latter is the case then we thank you very much for your brief attention and wish you well on your opting to give up on a band that you have probably been supporting for decades. While this is a view that I never truly admire, I can see how it happens because it is never easy for ones ears to accept “the new guy” in a band that had such a hard core following for such a long time. Let’s face it, we saw this happening to Steve Hogarth for almost 10 years after replacing Fish in the equally legendary Progressive Rock band Marillion. “The Human Condition” is a release that finds Saga also choosing to keep it going and in the place of Sadler we now find Rob Moratti who comes to them with previous work being done in the band Final Frontier. If you’ve heard Final Frontier in the past you should already know how much different a voice he possesses from Sadler, but in all honesty I hardly expected the band to successfully find a clone for the “voice of Saga” all that easily. The upside of this choice is that Moratti is a great new addition to the lineup.
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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of 2006”: The Videos and Concerts

As I’ve already noted, it was a very exciting year in the Metal music world and as we draw to the close of 2006 its time to continue with what we felt was the “Best” of the year. In a previous post, I lined out all of the albums that I felt were the most awesome and now its time to line out the videos and concerts that were the same. I’ve also mentioned a few of the letdowns.

The Best Videos Of 2006:

Arch Enemy “Live Apocalypse” (Century Media Records): Do you love Angela Gossow? If not, I don’t want to be the one to tell one of the most imposing of female singers today. This is a band that has done serious damage since her arrival and shows no signs of stopping.

KISS “KISSology” (VH1 Classic) : You wanted the best and you got the best the hottest band in the world KISS!!!!! Disagree with me? Shut up and get out of my way or wise up and enjoy this incredible archive of video footage from a band that started more trends than you can count..

Rush “Replay X3” (Universal): 3 classic Rush out of print VHS films in a neato little package with mini-tourbooks, oh snap this was wonderful to see released.

Children Of Bodom “Stockholm Knockout Live” (Spinefarm Records): Are you doubtful that COB is one of the more exciting bands of today, then buy this DVD and come talk to me again.

Therion “Celebrators Of Becoming” (Nuclear Blast Records): Behind on your Therion, well this comprehensive and extensive boxed set will surely win you over and get you up to speed.

Stream Of Passion “Live In The Real World” (InsideOut Music): Arjen Lucassens project with the beautiful Marcela Bovio will take you to new musical realms. There was a companion CD released for this as well.

Whitesnake “Live in the Still of the Night” (Universal Music): Here they go again on their own, and guess what it all still kicks some serious bootie.

Sonata Arctica “For The Sake Of Revenge” (Nuclear Blast Records): One of the best live bands for Metal today. They hold the banner high for the genre.

Black Label Society “The European Invasion” (Eagle Vision): Doom Troopin’ Live: so much better on this DVD than the last one. A tight set of crunching Hard Rock and Metal.

Kamelot “One Cold Winters Night” (SPV Records): This is a concert film that will make you a fan for life. Dramatic, energetic, and passionate. Melodic Power Metal at its best.
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Saga @ B.B. King Blues Club (7/22/2006)

Logo - Saga

Artist: Saga
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 7/22/2006
Label: InsideOut Music

It has been 22 years since the band Saga last played in the United States and because of this fact there are many of you are reading and saying “Hmmmm, Saga, it is just not ringing a bell”. For those people, let me bring you up to speed. In the heyday of the Eighties, the band had a resounding success with the songs “On The Loose” and “Wind Him Up”, but after those had peaked, they simply fell off peoples radar as they moved on to whatever other band was fashionable at the time. The “Hair Metal” and “Thrash” era was beginning for the Rockers and I admit not being up on my Progressive area of the time, so unless you were a hard core fan you would not have known these guys were still rocking. It was interesting to find that a group as Pop-sensible as they were mixed a number of Progressive elements to their songs. This practice made them a hit among certain circles but despite this, the touring just never seemed to happen for these parts as often as the fan base would like. During these years, the band enjoyed a healthy and productive career in their native Canada. Tonight they would get the chance to remind the people of New York exactly what they were about and be in support of their latest album “Trust”. The stage would be set once again at the well-known B.B. King Blues Club and under many conditions – this is the perfect setting for this kind of band. Progressive shows have been making a solid mark at the place but tonight would be a different story as attendees and the band would find themselves in a very sparse room. Without sounding too disparaging on the bands draw, I think a number of reasons were the cause of this happening tonight. The past week in New York had been a resounding heat wave and in parts of Queens, there was no power for several days with no apparent end in sight. Given the freedom of the weekend, it seemed like many people fled to cooler and powered spots for relief. I also feel that being absent from the public eye in this region for such a long time was also a key contributor but still I expected the Progressive folks to rally the night of the show. This would sadly not be the case and when the fact of no tables being setup at this show it made the room look all the more roomy. They had been removed in anticipation for the show by DMX (Rap) who was performing later that evening. It seems that the Prog shows are more sit down events than the Metal ones and I think had they left them up the place would have seemed a little fuller.
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