Hello again, it’s great that you are sticking with our New Year’s Metal Resolutions for 2012 Blog Series, and welcome to Wednesday or our “third times the charm edition”. As you have seen over the last couple of days posts, we posed the inquiry to a number of musical greats about what their resolutions might be as it relates to Metal or Music on the whole. I’ve loved what we got back from them and without any further adieu, please enjoy this chapter.
Stu Block (lead vocals for Iced Earth): My New Years Resolutions for 2012 is, to broaden my knowledge to the things that are happening in my country, politically and financially. Eat healthier and work out more.
Oliver Palotai (keyboards for Kamelot & Sons Of Seasons): My New Years Musical Resolution is to continue making good music and to further kick the mainstream in the ass!
Nick Avila (bassist for Powerglove): Powerglove’s New Years Metal resolution for 2012 is to overcome our Skyrim addictions, and write and record a new Video Game album for you. We are also exploring the logistics of building a Starburst cannon, setting up a Powerglove video game metal convention, touring Japan, and entering the world beard and moustache championships. Seeing as none of us currently have moustaches, we have our work cut out for us, but with a combination of Rogaine, miracle grow, and self determination, I believe we have a good shot at failure. Cheers to failure, and Happy New Year to you all! Continue reading Music Luminaries Share Their New Year’s Metal Resolutions for 2012: Part 3→
As I’ve previously noted, we’ve always aimed to deliver a year end “Best Of” list and with the end of the decade just having happened, it’s time to continue our thoughts about what was the “Best Of The Decade” from 2000-2009 – I’ve already doled out the Music and Video picks and now it’s time to get into the live concerts that we found the most enjoyable over the past ten years.
I was not really planning on doing a decade spanning concert “best of” but many of the readers of the site had sent me emails after the list posted inquiring about those events which I thought were the biggest highlights to me. Based on the interest, I figured that it was better to append the article to also feature this information of be stuck answering emails over and over. I’ve been fortunate as a writer and photographer to get to enjoy a large number of shows and I hope that you enjoy the list I came up with.
Van Halen @ Madison Square Garden (Warner Music Group): The Brothers Van Halen reunited with David Lee Roth made this one of the highlights of my decade. Yes Michael Anthony was no longer a part of the band but I could live with that since it gave me back Dave. The hits were non-stop at the show and I think I watched it five feet above the floor where my seat was. Everyone in NYC was dancing the night away that’s for sure.
Iron Maiden @ Madison Square Garden (EMI Music): This show was for the “Brave New World” CD that many loved for bringing back Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith into the fold. I loved it for its amazing level of energy and how it showed just how good Maiden was and the fact that it had Rob Halford as the opener and Queensryche. OK I admit that I didn’t feel the Ryche were all that good that night and were rather slow after the Halford set. It was fantastic seeing Rob’s then new band in action of course as he was still years away from rejoining Judas Priest.
The Gathering @ The Knitting Factory (The End Records): I was a casual fan of The Gathering and my buddies who went to the show with me were much more into them, but seeing them in this smaller space was fantastic. Very moody and atmospheric stuff and done well in the live sense. Anneke sang like a siren and one of the openers was an unknown group called Unexpect. I’ve been a supporter of theirs since that night and feel that this appearance gave me a heads up on a terrific band many years before the rest of the folks would catch on.
HIM @ The Bowery Ballroom (Universal Music): While working at one of the investment banks from hell I scanned a video for HIM which was “Join Me In Death” and I was hooked and did my best to find a couple of the bands albums. Their first show on US soil in NYC would be at The Bowery Ballroom and the two nights were close to sold out. We caught the first show I believe but its been awhile and in any case it was amazing to see HIM in such an intimate room. Going forward we would watch the band play larger places each time and having all of the shows sell out well in advance.
Kamelot @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): I am referring to the first time that I ever caught Kamelot performing at B.B. King Blues Club and not one of the other four times. I was very new to the band and how they did things but it was a smoking show and one that made many fans for the guys who would rally to their cause in the future. They continue to impress the masses and we love them for it.
Ozzfest 2004 @ Jones Beach Ampitheater (Epic Records): This particular Ozzfest was one that would find a reunited Black Sabbath once again and Judas Priest who were now back in action with Rob Halford on vocals. The show also featured Slayer and the mighty Dimmu Borgir which brought the heaviness and the darkness into play. A dramatic night that had a thunderstorm looming over our heads and definitely making the atmosphere electric. My companion and I arrived during the Superjoint Ritual set and honestly hated the way they sounded. We were fine in picking up the musical night from the Dimmu set and onward.
Nightwish @ L’Amour’s (Century Media Records): Back when this show took place I had been listening to Nightwish casually but steadily and while I expected no one to be in the club it was jam packed like the old days. Turns out they had a lot more support over here than I realized. I commented about the show on the Bravewords site and ended up with the words posted online. This led me to receive an email asking for more information about the show and I gladly complied to those folks over at the Metal Circus. I’ve been writing concert and product reviews ever since.
Ozzfest 2007 @ PNC Bank Arts Center (Epic Records): The free Ozzfest was very appealing to me as a fan of Metal and as a growing in scope music journalist because of the bands that it presented to the audience. Ozzy would headline of course but opening up for him would be Lamb Of God, Static X, Lordi and Behemoth along with up and comers like In This Moment and Chthonic. It would be perhaps the heaviest of this festival yet when it came down to it and those who wisely got their early enough never forgot the show. Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of Decade”: 2000-2009: The Concerts→
Hello again, and welcome back to the continuing “Best Of” 2009 lists. This is chapter two of my favorite albums for the year since I had so many. Don’t worry, I loved a lot of concerts, books and videos but those will have to get their own chapter as well. With this installment I have also featured those releases which were older albums that found a re-issue. I’ve never minded reviewing back catalog here on the website and as we head towards out fifth year in 2010 can only see that process continuing. Okay let’s take a look at the picks.
The Best Albums Of 2009 Continued:
Immortal “All Shall Fall” (Nuclear Blast Records): The Dark Gods of the frozen wastelands are back and shall take no prisoners. Welcome back gentleman, we’ve been waiting for this one for awhile.
Nile “Those Whom The Gods Detest” (Nuclear Blast Records): This angry little title only briefs you on the massive sound delivered by Nile on their latest. Could this be the bands magnum opus, one might think so after hearing it a couple of times. That’s good for the genre all around.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Night Castle” (Lava Records): It’s finally here and offers fans of the Symphonic Hard Rock orchestra a lot of cool treats. There are some covers and remakes on this one for the old Savatage crowd and a lot of new instrumentals and lyrical pieces that both amaze and inspire. Nice work.
The Smithereens “Tommy” (E1 Entertainment): Classic rockers re-do most of the amazing Rock Opera by The Who. Their renditions were solid and worthy of praise. Cool.
The Gathering “The West Pole” (Season Of Mist Records): Another band with some history and yet another new lead singer. Did it work out, well, yes it did indeed.
Chimaira “The Infection” (Ferret Music): Brutal, powerful and very, very heavy. This bands name breathes Metal and the music on this release is the proof in the pudding.
Them Crooked Vultures “Them Crooked Vultures” (Interscope Records): Another super group but this one features John Paul Jones…….JOHN PAUL JONES!!!!! Awesome stuffs.
Shadow’s Fall “Retribution” (Shadows Fall Records): Solid effort from these original leaders in the Nu-Metal field.
The Last Vegas “Whatever Gets You Off” (Eleven Seven Music): Really enjoyed the Trash/Sleaze Rock of these winners of the Guitar Player contest. I sense good and big things a coming for these boys.
Artist: The Gathering Title: “Home” Label: The End Records Release Date: 4/18/2006 Genre: Atmospheric Rock Rating: 3.5/5
If you have been following The Gathering since their inception in 1989 then you are well-aware of all the vast and varied musical changes and transformations that their sound has gone through over the years Originally starting as a type of Gothic/Doom outfit, the band became more of a more Gothic Hard Rock presence when singer Anneke van Giersbergen joined them in 1994. They released classics such as “Nighttime Birds” and “Mandylion” but the style changes would continue along with every album they gave us. As far as singers go, Anneke is one of those rare finds and a treat on the listener’s ear. Her voice is quite literally one of the most musically perfect you could hope to hear and as the albums continued to be delivered her abilities would shine ever brighter and the band would morph more and more until eventually becoming the brand of Atmospheric Ambient Rock we get on “Home”. It’s a logical step and one I first felt this happening with the semi-acoustic evening recorded on “Sleepy Buildings”. This was like an episode of MTV Unplugged and while the band shined in this fashion, it seemed as though Anneke was running the band as the whole thing showcased her a lot more than they had in the past. Continue reading “Home” by The Gathering→
If you enjoy the brooding and atmospheric vibe of Gothic Metal then you should really be listening to The Gathering because they are leaders in the field when it comes to stuff like this. Tonight would mark my second time seeing the band and label mates Tub Ring would open up the show. To see our thoughts and images from the gig, just click the logo below to be brought to our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Artist: The Gathering Venue: Club Rebel (New York, NY) Opener: Tub Ring Date: 5/15/2007 Label: The End Records
It was around this time last year that New York was first able to enjoy the music of The Gathering, and the Knitting Factory venue was where they stopped in for the visit. It was a great way to catch them in a quasi-intimate setting. When they announced that they would be returning once again I was very pleased that they were now under the guidance of The End Records who enabled this to happen the first time as well. For the show tonight they would be supported by their label mates Tub Ring and be performing at the semi-new venue called Club Rebel. The place was formerly The Downtime and since I had never been inside the club before tonight it would also be a new experience for me as a music journalist. In that I was looking forward to bringing you the highlights and any lowlights that we would experience during the night. Here’s our take on the evening as a whole.
Tub Ring: The band Tub Ring is probably one of the most entertaining and visually erratic bands that I have seen in a long time and I’m sure everyone around me agreed with this perception. Their sound is a mixture of various Rock styles and given the way they mix things up it’s best to label this as Experimental or Avant-garde. The lead singer is one of those madmen that is able to get you going at every second of the set and to be honest I could pretty much say the same about their keyboardist. At times he would climb atop them and jump down to better accentuate his notes and cause for music. Their debut release on The End Records is called “The Great Filter” and while material from it would be focused on they would also treat the crowd to other stuff as they have a number of other albums. They were really worth seeing and I look forward to another chance at this. I recommend these guys for fans of music that hangs precariously off the edge and if the aspects of Mister Bungle or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum appeal to you then please give these dudes a shot as well.
The Gathering: Since their association with The End Records, The Gathering has issued two studio recordings and one performance DVD entitled “A Sound Relief”. The amount of product has been great as the label seeks to multiply the number of fans that exist in their demographic in this region and so far as I can guess this is working out very well. The interesting thing about this band is that they are not quite the Gothic Metal sounding group that they once were and are now more along the lines of a trippy Atmospheric enterprise. The venue tonight had a sizable crowd and it looked to me about as large as the first time that they came around. This was nice, but there can always be more people if you ask me and especially when it is for a band that does not make the rounds all that often. I was happy to find them hitting the stage very quickly after Tub Ring, because the venue was growing uncomfortable based on the temperature inside the place. Summer was close to beginning and to be honest it was hotter inside than it was outside. As they launched into “Shortest Day” you immediately realized just how good a voice Anneke has in her possession. I find her one of the most hypnotic vocally and also one of the most expressive performers that I have seen in a long time. As the music plays she dances and bops to every note with a beaming smile on her face at all times. It’s clear to everyone in attendance that she loves doing what she does and we are really appreciative of this from down in the audience. I’m tired of those performers who look like they hate being onstage and this is a welcome sight to me as someone who strives to get to as many shows as possible.
They continued on in their sets with some of my own favorites like “Even The Spirits Are Afraid”, “Eleanor” and “Saturnine” and as you glanced around the audience you could see many people singing along with her. Clearly there were more original fans as opposed to those who were curious and while that’s cool, it is also a shame that more newcomers were not here to see what they are all about. After some long initial sound discrepancies you were able to indulge in the rich and moody guitar sounds of Rene Rutten who seemed drowned out by the drums and bass this evening for the larger part of the set’s beginning. This did not seem to be their sound persons fault but instead the way the venue was handling the sound. There is an open floor area and an overhang and it seemed to me that this section was sucking all the sound away at points. There is not a lot of chatter from the band or audience during a Gathering set, as instead everyone just allows them to be taken away by the sound scapes and tonight this was really proving difficult. Despite the couple of venue shortcomings the band played a very tight set of some classics and some newer material but when it came down to the time for encore they would not return which resulted in a very disappointed crowd. Either way, we still got a great bunch of songs from the group and I hope they return soon but that they hit a different club.
I had lined out that there were lowlights to the night and I am sad to bring them to the table since it was mainly on the part of the venue and no fault of the band. The room was sizable for a few hundred fans and there was some sort of upstairs lounge to kick back in but from this area you could not see the stage which was one downside. As far as the performance area itself, well it only seemed to have one air conditioner on and this was near the back bar. The general standing area by the stage was incredibly hot and the heat was everywhere and literally making the surroundings both dangerous to ones health and comfort. It was to the point of causing people to flow back and forth to where the air was actually coming from during the bands set instead of allowing them the chance to enjoy the show they had paid decent money for. Topping it all off was inconsistency in the sound the venue afforded the group with too much bottom end where it was not needed and your needing to be dead center to even appreciate the group. I can’t see myself attending another show here and hope for their own sake that these issues are worked out if they are to compete with the newly opened Gramercy Theatre and Highline Ballroom venues.
Update 6/5/2007: We are saddened to report that just under three weeks after this performance that lead singer Anneke Van Giersbergen had decided to leave The Gathering and pursue personal musical adventures of her own. She and the band each shared a statement to the world regarding this via the Internet and each explained that life and music will continue on for them. For 13 years Anneke served in this role giving memorable music to everyone while the band kept the creativity and atmosphere interesting. Those who attended this New York show reviewed above witnessed history as the last time this configuration of players would be on the same stage in this region. We wish each side the best of success and look forward to more music sooner rather than later. The Gathering is currently auditioning new singers and Anneke’s material is being prepared for release.
1. Shortest Day
2. In Between
3. Liberty Bell
4. Probably Built in the 50’s
5. Even the Spirits Are Afraid
10. In Motion #1
11. Waking Hour
12. Strange Machines