Artist: Mago De Oz Title: A Costa Da Morte (Coast of Death) Label: Locomotive Records Release Date: 11/20/2007 Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal Rating: 4/5
This live offering from Spain’s Mago De Oz (Wizard of Oz) serves as a great introduction to their more than decade long body of work, a nice way to sample some of the best songs from their expansive studio catalog presented in a well recorded and engaging double CD set.
Describing themselves uniquely as “folk-metal” the band actually goes far past that pigeon-hole by taking giant leaps across many musical genres. If it’s folk at all, it’s the folk of a band like Jethro Tull, in a style that fits comfortably between pastoral pieces like “Living In Past” and the smoking riff-rock of “Locomotive Breath”. The influences fly hard and fast even in the course of a single song, conjuring the likes of Iron Maiden (“Leyenda De La Mancha”), Deep Purple & Dio era Rainbow as well age old gypsy and Galician melodies. Maiden’s influence is particularly evident in this ten member band’s twin lead guitar attack as well as singer José Andrea’s frequent forays into stratospheric vocal ranges which approximate Bruce Dickinson or “Burn” era David Coverdale. It was not strange to learn that the group was originally called Transilvania in honor of the Iron Maiden instrumental and have covered “Strange World” for Nuclear Blast’s Tribute to the Beast, Volume 2. Continue reading “A Costa Da Morte” by Mago De Oz→
Doro is the reigning Queen of Metal and when she tours it is always a good time. Tonight she would be at the Highline Ballroom and entertain like never before. It was Easter Sunday but there was still a solid crowd of Metal fans in place. To read and see more about this, just scroll past the logo below to see it all.
Artist: Doro Pesch Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY) Opener: Fatal Smile, Arctic Flame, Lipstick Magazine Date: 3/23/2008 Label: Locomotive Records
Truth be told, Easter Sunday is not a normal day for me to catch a Heavy Metal show but in all honesty most of us are done with family obligations early enough to still be able to catch a band that’s going on later in the evening no matter what day it happens to be. Such was the case when Doro Pesch, the true Metal Queen for over two decades now, decided to return to New York City for a performance at the Highline Ballroom. For those who have yet to see something over at the place, I had to say that this venue is perfect for Doro since it offers her a decent sized stage to run around on along with great sound and lighting. The last time she performed in New York, she appeared at B.B. King’s, and while the venue is known for all of the Metal shows it holds throughout the year, the stage at the Highline Ballroom is a little better for some bands. The night was listed as Doro with two unsigned openers kicking off the performance and as result would find a band called Lipstick Magazine and Arctic Flame starting the crowd off in their musical evening. Having limited background in Lipstick Magazine and running a little late with the train I opted to pass on them and arrive in time for some of Arctic Flame’s set. I had seen them a number of times in recent concert memory and they are not bad at what they do for the Power Metal genre. When I arrived straight on the dime for the set I found out that the first band had already gone on and while thinking it must have been the Lipstick group, I was stunned to find out that it was instead the band Fatal Smile. Apparently, there was some sort of mix up and parties were uninformed about Fatal Smile being a part of the tour so for this particular case the venue had them go on at 7:30pm when only about 30 fans were in the audience. Continue reading Doro Pesch @ Highline Ballroom (3/23/2008)→
Legendary German Metal icons Grave Digger were finally doing a NYC show. This would be it if you wanted to see them, as it was a one stop kind of thing and no expansive run of dates. We made sure to be on point for the gig and interested readers can click the logo below to be brought to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Artist: Grave Digger Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: Arctic Flame Date: 3/2/2008 Label: Locomotive Records
Grave Digger is one of those Metal bands who’ve been at the game for almost thirty years now and yet despite this there are regions of the globe that they just don’t get to as often as they would like for performances and to meet with their fans. Musically, they have a very pure Old School Power Metal feel to them and their style would appeal the demographic that leans primarily in that direction. For instance if you like old Accept and vintage Judas Priest, you would definitely be someone who got into the sounds and tunes of the guys in Grave Digger. When the band announced their first-ever New York show I went in expecting quite a bit of a crowd based on this being a rather historic appearance. To my knowledge they had never even been to the States in a true touring fashion and had only appeared at an event that was held by the folks over at BWBK magazine several years ago. The guys would present their wares at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, a venue that some Metal fans know very well based on the amount of such shows they present, and they would bring with them some of the local boys in the as yet unsigned Arctic Flame. I would miss the opener tonight but I had seen them perform on a number of other opening slots and for tonight I was primarily interested in checking out Grave Digger for the very first time. I had to admit that while owning a few releases from their catalog, they remain a bit of a mystery to me in terms of total absorption of their stuff. Continue reading Grave Digger @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/2/2008)→
Artist: Various Artists Title: “Rock For Asia” Label: Locomotive Records Release Date: 8/1/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
The Rock For Asia concert event was put together just a month after the Tsunami natural disaster of 2004 that devastated the lands of eleven countries and killed more than 225,000 people. The Tsunami was set off by the Indian Ocean earthquake which was the second largest quake ever recorded on seismograph. It’s magnitude fell between 9.1 and 9.3 and it remains one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. The event on this DVD film found scores of artists banding together to help raise money for the people in these regions who had truly lost more than anyone could ever imagine. For the most part the bands reflected are German acts and we get some really incredible ones performing their hearts out. The hardest part for those who watch the film in the comforts and safety of their homes might be that it is a little difficult to just sit and enjoy the concert while at the same time knowing what it was being done for. Of course, when one realizes that this was delivered to be a part of the healing process and how all involved are hoping to make a difference you cannot help yourself in at least giving it a try. Obviously we don’t seem to get the full concert as I am sure this ran for several hours but with the dialogue being primarily in German, I am not too certain of that fact exactly. It’s very likely that while the bands only presented us with two or three songs on the film that they did at least a couple of more for the audience in attendance. It begins with Bonfire, who are a really talented act whom I felt that some parts of the world got to enjoy while others were left with a big “who are they?” sort of thing. They have some really good songs and while they didn’t play my favorite tune “Starin’ Eyes”; we get the picture from their included numbers just the same. Continue reading “Rock For Asia” [DVD] by Various Artists→
Artist: Benedictum Title: “Seasons Of Tragedy” Label: Locomotive Records Release Date: 3/4/2008 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
Having enjoyed their debut “Uncreation” so much I was eager to see how San Diego’s Benedictum would do with their sophomore release and I am happy to report that “Seasons Of Tragedy” stands proud on its own and finds the band proving themselves a great Metal force as tune after tune thunders by. The band is led by Veronica Freeman and she is nothing less than impressive. Her vocal style doesn’t follow the day’s trend of being either Operatic, Symphonic or Death Growling but instead seems to bring us back to a more traditional Metal singer who uses elements of each discipline as needed. Either way she can belt them out and comes off as a powerhouse on every song on the album. Musically this one is perhaps even a little stronger than the debut and perhaps this is based on the band growing into one another a little more and feeling much more confident at the task. Of course the first album rocked but with “Seasons Of Tragedy” they have effectively kicked it up a notch and it all begins with a mood-setting instrumental called “Dawn Of Seasons”. The band jumps into gear with “Shell Shock” and this is a really great opening tune since it grabs you by the throat and you can almost feel how the band does this one live since you cant help but find yourself head banging to it. Pete Wells sounds even better on this one with a number of blazing leads and trudging groove-laden riffs and does great work on tracks like “Within The Solace” and “Legacy”. Having found myself enjoying most of the tracks it was a little tricky to decide on a mere two. Completing the lineup we have Jesse Wright on bass and Paul Courtois on drums. A perfect rhythm section for this type of Metal as they hold the bottom end down and occasionally demonstrate enough of the necessary flair to brighten up a track a little more. The band is very in your face and not only finds producer Jeff Pilson once again offering up some bass guitar, but we also find George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob) and Manni Schmidt (Grave Digger) on the tracks “Bare Bones” and “Burn It Out” respectively. Continue reading “Seasons Of Tragedy” by Benedictum→