Tag Archives: after forever

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Books and Videos

I know what you are thinking, gee Ken you guys sure did like a lot of stuff over the course of 2009 and you are not kidding. This will be my last installment from the “Best Of” rundowns and we will not only cover the videos and books that we enjoyed the most but also will line out a bunch of the things that disappointed us here at the Metal Media Command HQ. DVD releases continued to impress and amaze as not only were new and exciting videos being released but also a number of cool historical archives had finally come to see the light of day. We reviewed quite a bit of them this year and still have a number of them to go but the list below focuses on some of our favorites which we made sure to line out first to be a part of this list. Let’s take a look.

The Best DVD’s of 2009:

Iron Maiden “Flight 666” (Universal Music): Maiden’s documentary about their “Somewhere Back In Time” World Tour that discussed how the band flew their own airplane to dozens of countries to deliver the Metal to the faithful believers has to be seen to be believed. Filmed by the famous Sam Dunn of “Headbanger’s Journey” fame.

Anvil: “The Story Of Anvil” (VH1 Classic Records): Anvil finally gets their due and some proper attention based on this fine documentary film by Sasha Gervasi.

Journey “Live In Manila” (Wal-Mart): If you didn’t get enough of Arnel Pineda when Journey delivered us “Generations” then wait till you get a load of him doing his thing in his home country, the Philippines. This show rocks and the crowd was going crazy for their countryman as he led this legendary band into the future.

Rick Wakeman “The Six Wives Of Henry XIII” (Eagle Vision): Former Yes keyboard wizard gets to fulfill a dream performance and we are members of the audience thanks to this special DVD release. A companion CD was also offered and this is a must for the legends fans.

ZZ Top “Double Down Live” (Eagle Vision): This DVD presented not one, but two performances from ZZ Top and while one comes from recently, it is the vintage show from 1980 that is the one to appreciate most. There isn’t a lot of footage of the band that’s been made public, so this was something that many classic rock and blues rock fans can appreciate quite a bit.
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Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 1

These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.

36 Crazyfists: “Rest Inside The Flames” (DRT Entertainment)

Newly signed to DRT Entertainment, the Post Hardcore meets Melodic Metalcore guys in 36 Crazyfists give us their third album “Rest Inside The Flames”. The release is a significant Metal punch to the teeth as they use the Hardcore vibe straight away but different from some bands that blend in the Melodic aspect, 36CF are often using the both at the same time. I found this a great dynamic instead of the switching off, and actually at the end of the listen wished that they had only used the clean vocal since it was so good. Songs like “On Any Given Night” are fantastic and serve to save the listener from the crop of Emo bands dished out and somehow popular. The drive and delivery of 36CF is bound to please those who are looking for some levels of anger in their music but also those who are seeking more melody than a lot of bands offer. There are a lot of flavors on the album and they even offer some tribute to their homelands on the cut “Aurora”, a song which they said is about love and its magic that can be inspired by the magnificent Northern Lights. If that’s not off the beaten path from other heavy bands I don’t know what else is. There is also a lot of cool music on the release as well as far as time signatures and overall technical display. The band has been around since 1994 so their time together shows in the tightness of the performance on the recording. This resulting tightness makes songs like “Felt Through A Phone Line” among the best on the album and a sure fire hit once it gets to the proper ears. Now despite the harmonies on a number of tracks there is still the continual assault which you find especially on tracks like “Elysium”; the number is a one-two punch of Metal force which makes it interesting to realize that the band takes their very name from one of Jackie Chan’s Kung-Fu movies. In similar fashion to that kind of film the band hits you hard and from a number of different angles leaving you as a listener very clearly remembering what has hit you. There is a lot of fun to be had with this album and there is a very live feel to the music that should transfer well to the group’s performances.

3 Legged Dogg: “Frozen Summer” (Perris Records)

When you take members of Dio, DLR and Quiet Riot you are bound to get a super group and this is exactly what you find in the Bluesy Hard Rock of 3LD. Singer Chas West reminds me of Coverdale while the riffs and drums thunder with Zeppelin/Purple finesse. It’s surprisingly fresh and catchy all around and the perfect band in a day where the old sound is sorely required once again. It’s a great new musical vehicle for Bain, Appice, West, Young and Cavazo but they should really change that name since it takes away from this truly impressive debut.
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“After Forever” by After Forever

Artist: After Forever
Title: “After Forever”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/25/2007
Genre: Melodic Gothic Metal
Rating: 4.5.5

I’m happy to report that I had been a fan of After Forever’s for a few years by the time that their signing to Nuclear Blast Records was announced, so when this happened I was not only excited about it but I also felt that I had a little bit more lead into what a whole new world of Metal fans would soon experience and most definitely enjoy. For those unaware, After Forever is a Dutch Symphonic Melodic Metal band that started out a little more on the Operatic side and this was when such a style was not as common as we find today. Since forming in 1995 they have morphed in sound and style and as result found themselves at times Dark Metal and almost always on the Progressive side. With After Forever music it is continually about power and majesty and now with their self-titled debut on Nuclear Blast Records are giving a brand new audience a taste of not only how they sound today but also a little look back into their storied past. The band was previously signed to the now defunct Transmission Records along with their current label mates Epica, another Dutch band of note that features AF’s former guitarist Mark Jansen. He would start Epica after leaving the ranks of AF and while they share a label once again each band offers the listener enough difference to have them equally enjoyable without any fear of repetition. Can we say that one group is better than the other well that is up to the listener to decide and I have to admit that I like the two acts equally. The newest album “After Forever” begins with a rousing flourish as the tune “Discord” kicks into gear and offers up a great Beauty & The Beast vocal duel. As soon as the song is underway you realize just how incredible the voice of Floor Jansen is.
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PiercingMetal Talks To After Forever’s Floor Jansen (10/21/2007)

After Forever had impressed me from the moment I first heard the album “Invisible Circles” and while the release was in fact their third, I did what I could to find their back catalog until the band signed onto the Nuclear Blast Records artist roster in the middle of 2006. Towards the end of that year, the band was touring the US for the first time ever as the special guest support of Overkill and when they stopped in NYC we found a nice space in the backstage area of B.B. King Blues Club to talk to the groups incredible vocalist, the beautiful Floor Jansen. Scroll past the logo below to enjoy our entire discussion.

Logo - After Forever

Floor Jansen is the bombastic vocal force that leads the band After Forever into the hearts of Melodic Metal fans around the world. 2007 found the band signing to Nuclear Blast Records and releasing a self titled album that was one of the most exciting releases of the year. We caught up with Floor when the band was making their debut appearance as direct support of legendary Thrashers Overkill. We secured some space in the backstage area of B.B. King Blues Club and aimed at covering a wide number of topics based on the many experiences and challenges that Floor and company had faced as performers. Below is the transcription of our entire conversation.

PiercingMetal: Hails to you Floor, so I am guessing it’s safe to say that you are happy to finally be bringing After Forever and their music to the fans in the USA. How would you say that the tour is coming along so far and what was the Prog Power show like? How has the reaction from the audience been for After Forever on the whole?

Floor: Well ProgPower was what we started out with which was like the first real show here in the states and to immediately be headlining a festival was like huge. It was really, really fun and people were really into it and really knew our band and that was really surprising for us to see how many people actually already knew us. There were so many old albums that we were signing even though they had never been released here and I guess we kept on running into that during this tour that a lot of people did know us. It’s still a relatively small crowd of course so I think for the next time we would definitely benefit more if we could be a support act for an even bigger band or similar genres but yeah it’s cool to see how many people from all kinds of different styles really like our music.
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To After Forever’s Floor Jansen (10/21/2007)

“Mea Culpa” by After Forever

Artist: After Forever
Title: “Mea Culpa”
Label: Tranmission Records
Release Date: 8/15/2006
Genre: Melodic Dark Metal
Rating: 5/5

In 2006 as their contract with Transmission Records was drawing to a close and the Dutch Melodic Metal band After Forever drew the curtain on their early years in preparation for the move forward into a hopefully promising future, a retrospective entitled “Mea Culpa” was released. Unlike many compilations that review a bands past and give the listener two choice tracks from each album, “Mea Culpa” would be far from the standard summary of the After Forever back catalog and instead present thirty three bombastic tunes in one of the most beautiful packages that I have ever seen for a release of this kind. The two disc set is broken up into distinct chapters with the first CD covering the years and albums that guitarist/grunt vocalist Mark Jansen was a part of the group. It’s on this disc that we find the albums “Prison Of Desire” and “Decipher” being once again brought to the front, and these are two truly powerful recordings that still have quite a bit of life to them. Knowing there are fifteen tunes on the first CD makes one think that they re-issued the entire album for the sake of the collection but what they did became all the more special as it is here we also find unreleased tracks and those that would only be found on band singles. As it begins it sets their heavy mood properly with “Mea Culpa”, an a-cappella tune loaded with big choir and brooding tones but from there is very much a dark feast of Melodic Metal. There are other Dutch musical superstars present as well and get a duet between Floor and Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) that is quite good and somewhere across the tracks Arjen Lucassen offers some guitar and keyboards.
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